Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Crazies (**1/2)

The Crazies. 101 mins. R. Directed by Breck Eisner. Written by Scott Kosar and Ray Wright. Starring Timothy Olyphant, Radha Mitchell, Joe Anderson, and Danielle Panabaker.

The remake craze continues with this serviceable redo of zombie maestro George Romero's 1973 cult favorite, The Crazies. Boasting snappier pacing and better acting than the original, this new version directed by Sahara's Breck Eisner should satisfy the Friday night crowd, but doesn't make much of a lasting impression. Maybe that's because we've seen so many riffs on this same type of story in the three decades that have passed since Romero's movie was first released. Part viral outbreak thriller and part zombie horror, the 2010 Crazies follows a small-town sheriff in Iowa (Timothy Olyphant), his wife (Pitch Black's Radha Mitchell), and a few hangers-on as they try to escape the clutches of fellow citizens gone unexplainably berserk and the government that's trying to wipe them all out. The movie has a handful of boo! gotcha! scare scenes, nifty visuals, and a killer scene in a car wash (way better than the one in the last Final Destination flick), but the characters are dull and uninteresting. The infected are not portrayed all that inventively either - these crazies just come off like a sub-par 28 Days Later rip-off. In fact, you'd be better off watching (or re-watching) any of these other similar movies: 28 Days Later, 28 Weeks Later, the '04 Dawn of the Dead. Remake aside, there's really nothing here you haven't seen before.

- John


At 9:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can agree with you on most of what you are saying here. Though I think that The Crazies is better than 28 Weeks later and the new Dawn of the Dead. I do think that youa re right that it follows a basic formula and what not and that we have seen it before, but I think it does make up for itwith some of the gotcha moments.


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