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Home > Categories > Movies > Fantasy > The Dead Don't Die review

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Score: 6.0/10  [1 review]
2 out of 5
ProdID: 8595 - The Dead Don't Die
Directed by Jim Jarmusch

The Dead Don't Die
Price:
$20
Sample/s Supplied by:
Click to search for all products supplied by Universal Pictures NZ

Disclosure StatementFULL DISCLOSURE: A number of units of this product have, at some time, been provided to KIWIreviews by Universal Pictures NZ or their agents for the sole purposes of unbiased, independent reviews. No fee was requested, offered nor accepted by KIWIreviews or the reviewers themselves - these are genuine, unpaid consumer reviews.
Available:
March 2020

The Dead Don't Die product reviews

In the sleepy small town of Centerville, something is not quite right. The moon hangs large and low in the sky, the hours of daylight are becoming unpredictable, and animals are beginning to exhibit unusual behaviours. News reports are scary, and scientists are concerned, but no one foresees the strangest and most dangerous repercussion that will soon start plaguing Centerville: the dead rise from their graves and feast on the living, and the citizens must battle to survive.

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Tags:
adam driver   bill murray   jim jarmusch   the dead dont die   tom waits   zombies
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Click here to read the profile of alexmoulton

Review by: alexmoulton (Alex)
Dated: 17th of March, 2020

Link to this review Report this review

 

This Review: 6.0/10
Pay to see it again:
Score 4 out of 10
Attention Span:
Score 7 out of 10
Believeability:
Score 7 out of 10
Personal Choice:
Score 6 out of 10

The Dead Don't Die is a zombie flick with an extensive cast list that includes Adam Driver, Bill Murray, Chloe Sevigny, Steve Buscemi, RZA, Tilda Swinton, Tom Waits, Danny Glover, and Selena Gomez. It seems like all the ingredients are there--that formula for success--and yet the viewing experience is rather uninspiring. Written and directed by Jim Jarmusch, his back catalogue is heavily biased towards the musical spectrum with music videos and documentaries, which explains why there are so many musicians cameo appearances.

When it comes to feature-length films, however, Jarmusch's directing and writing style tends to utilise slower, measured pacing, something that is rarely used in the zombie genre. The trailer comes across at a higher pace than that of the full film, which will no doubt lead to some rather disappointed audience members that will be caught off-guard by the unhurried stride that the story has.

The pacing works to heighten the satirical deadpan comedic stylings of Driver and Murray, with their apathetic reactions juxtaposing what should be a frantic situation. In what ends up being a double-edged sword, the loitering tempo also highlights the lack of a narrative direction. In a similar style to that of Quentin Tarantino, The Dead Don't Die accumulates a wide selection of subplots. In a very unlike Tarantino fashion, the majority of these subplots have little (if anything) to do with the main storyline.

It creates a disjointed narrative that rapidly depletes the effectiveness of the comedic elements. In a move that comes across as a complete waste of time, relationships are forged, events are set up, but there is no payoff. Unnecessary dialogue, redundant subplots, and superfluous cameos make The Dead Don't Die an unsatisfying viewing.

Driver and Murray are the linchpins that make the film at all watchable, incorporating fourth-wall-breaking self-referential meta humour alongside the dry wit and sarcasm that sets the tone. It does, on the other hand, mean that any scenes that lack these two actors will feel like something significant is missing (apart from a lack of direction in the story). To its credit, the film is full to the brim with easter eggs and pop-culture references, many revolving around George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead. This is a zombie film so, of course, there is a fair amount of gore. There is a reasonable mix of practical and digital effects, though the CGI is quite noticeable.

The Dead Don't Die is a very different style of zombie movie. The deadpan satire stylings get some good laughs initially, but as the film progresses through its 104-minute runtime, the returns diminish entirely without that strong foundation in the story. Lines of enquiry lead nowhere, and the climax of the film is unpredictable because it isn't set up at all. There is a definite attempt to create something that goes against the mainstream expectations, but the end product is largely unpalatable and a massive letdown.

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