P R I D E A N D P R E J U D I C E
A N D Z O M B I E S
Staring : Lily James, Sam Riley, Matt Smith, Douglas Booth,
Rating : 2/5
The Blurb : In the 19th century, a mysterious plague turns the English countryside into a war zone. No one is safe as the dead come back to life to terrorise the land. Fate leads Elizabeth Bennet (Lily James), a master of martial arts and weaponry, to join forces with Mr. Darcy (Sam Riley), a handsome but arrogant gentleman. Elizabeth can’t stand Darcy, but respects his skills as a zombie killer. Casting aside their personal differences, they unite on the blood-soaked battlefield to save their country.
My Review :
I have not read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies nor do I ever intend too. I only succumbed to watching the movie as I wanted to do another Austen themed movie review and I was also a little curious on how the characters were going to interact with the zombies.
The movie began well, the introduction was engaging and the dialogue humorous in the right places. A dialogue over the opening credits explaining the how the infestation of Zombies in the English countryside happened almost makes it believable. Personally I thought the line about the training extenuated the snobbery of the gentry very well, “the rich trained in Japan but the wise in China”. Later on this is mentioned by Mrs Bennett who chides her husband for giving their daughters a social disadvantage by having them trained in China, which is then echoed a little later by Miss Bingley. It was in all sense and purpose a slightly low budget version of Pride and Prejudice with the odd zombie reference/attack thrown in.
Lily James and Sam Riley encapsulated the characters of Elizabeth and Darcy fairly well, Sam slightly having the edge as he was a believable Darcy despite being an enthusiastic zombie killer. Matt Smiths portrayal of Pastor Collins (Mr Collins) was both entertaining and hilarious, especially the scene where he is having his first dinner with the Bennett’s. Mr Wickham’s deathly pallor and affinity with the zombies is a bit predictable in terms of story telling.
At times it felt like there was a conflict in terms of tone for the movie while some moments had a comic edge others were very straight. This was confusing as I was never certain on how a scene should be received. The zombies were also a little odd, while most were the classic brain dead let’s kill anything that moves zombies, some of them were quite happy to stop and have a conversation with Elizabeth before their heads were blown off.
I am unhappy when a movie leaves me with more questions than answers. It was entertaining in places but it I found it wanting. I reflected on how Miss Austen would have received this adaptation of her most popular novel. Some may believe it to be an abomination of a beloved piece of literature and a small part of me agrees, however I think Jane would have found the whole notion very amusing. I also believe that if she had been in charge of the script it would have been a 100% better.
Overall the movie was disappointing but anything that directs the younger generation to classic literature has to be a good thing… er… right?