Friday, May 8, 2015

Movie Review: "Maggie" (2015)

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Director: Henry Hobson
Year: 2015
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 1 hour, 35 minutes

A plague is traveling across the country, infecting people and turning them into uncontrollable cannibal zombies. The disease takes over the body slowly and as it gets worse, all of the infected are supposed to be placed in quarantine which has terrible conditions for those held there. One father named Wade (Arnold Schwarzenegger) won't see his infected daughter Maggie (Abigail Breslin) placed in those conditions, so he decides to keep her at home no matter how dangerous it may be. 

BigJ and I, along with our partner from, Jeffrey, were invited to screen this film before it was released in theaters. We were glad to have such an opportunity and watched this while making mental notes. We also discussed it on a podcast version of this review, which you can check out here:

Upon hearing Arnold Schwarzenegger was set to be in a cannibal zombie plague movie, we immediately thought there could be some kick ass "Walking Dead" style zombie slaying ahead, especially considering his resume. Unfortunately, there isn't much of that at all. Instead, what we get is an extended version of all the boring parts of  "The Walking Dead," specifically, all the drama with none of the zombie slaying to break up the tragic broken family problems. Sure, there are a couple times where Arnold is forced to kill a cannibal zombie or two, but these scenes are few and far between and lack excitement anyways, so it's all but a moot point. There is some disgusting imagery involving festering wounds and though the infected look pretty cool, that's about it, and we're sorely disappointed about it. Even when these wounds are shown, the color palette of the movie is so drab and boring on its own that none of these nasty images stand out as anything to write home about. Putting Arnold Schwarzenegger in a dramatic lead role just seems like bad casting to us. Hearing him speak on The Late Late Show with James Corden, he mentioned being excited to do a comedy film like "Twins" many years ago because he had been typecast into his action roles. Well, we hate to say it, but it seems like he woke up one morning and got the bright idea that he wanted to star in a drama, and here we are, writing to you about this film. He was never an actor known for his stellar acting chops to begin with, nor has he ever shown he has the ability to create a deeply layered character. This film is, unfortunately, no exception, and it pains us to write this because we love Arnold as an actor most of the time. We seem to always be able to count on him for a good laugh, even if they are unintended. This film is very much a human type of story, and though the dynamic is sort of there between Breslin and Schwarzenegger, it's not enough. In fact, there's a point at which Arnold is absent from the screen for over 20 minutes, so it begs the question, why not hire someone cheaper?

"Maggie" simply wound up being slow moving and painfully dull drama with little to no thrills and barely anything to keep us interested or engaged. The family drama isn't compelling and the internal conflict can't be felt by the audience. This conflict has been portrayed much more efficiently and much better in other, more compelling zombie and epidemic style films that are much more entertaining. On top of all this boring nonsense, the ending doesn't even pay off and is such a cop-out, we are still angry about it. If the director, Henry Hobson, who made his directorial debut with this movie, is going to continue his career in film making, he needs to know this cop-out type of ending is rarely ever satisfying to the audience. It's okay to ruffle a few feathers, and since he spent the majority of the film showing the goings on off camera or at a tilted angle anyways, he shouldn't be afraid to take a chance with a risky ending. Plus, if my husband came home with his plague-infected daughter and I had two other kids in the house to worry about, I'm GONE, do you know what I mean? Unless you brought her home to bring her out to the back and Old Yeller her yourself, I'm not risking my life or the lives of my other two kids so you can watch your eldest child turn into a flesh-craving zombie! So little happens in the picture we're struggle to find more things to talk about in this review. This film will be quickly forgotten if anybody even knew it existed in the first place. 

My Rating: 5/10
BigJ's Rating: 4.5/10
IMDB's Rating: 8.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 56%
Do we recommend this movie: Meh.

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