Dawn of the Dead (2004) Review
Written by: azathoth
A good remake of Romero's classic 2nd movie of his zombie series. This film follows the original about 70% of the time. Each version of the film has it strengths and weaknesses compared to the other, which have been debated many times by others. Officially, I give a slight edge to the original, partly because it was the original and partly because mall security cops are just annoying as all hell.
This was written by Romero and directed by Zack Snyder ("300" and "Watchmen"). We have a well known cast including Sarah Polley (Ana), Ving Rhames (Ken), and Mekhi Phifer (Jerk). There are a bunch of other characters, but the only one that has a huge impact is Andy (Bruce Bohne), the gunshop owner across the parking lot from the mall.
Ana gets home at night from a long shift at the hospital, and wakes up the next morning with one of the neighborhood kids hanging out in her hallway. The girl pumps it up to 11 and takes out Ana's husband's throat. By the way, these are the new-fangled fast and angry zombies. After Ana takes out the girl and tries to (unsuccessfully) save her husband, he wakes up all brain hungry. Ana looks tasty, but she gets away, for now. A neat car action scene follows until she crashes, and she meets up with Ken, Jerk and his wife, and some other people (meat).
They get to the local mall, whack a few zombies, and are ambushed by... security guards, who throw them in the detention cell. Why? Because they are stupid security guards. The next day some more people show up in a truck, and barely get inside. And by barely, I mean some have been bitten. After an attempted sexual assault, the security guards are relieved of their guns, their duty, and probably of their egos.
The newly happy mall crew yuck it up for a while in the mall and make contact with Andy the gunshop owner across the parking lot. They play games like shoot the zombie that looks like "Bob Barker" and chess with dry erase boards and binoculars. Eventually Andy starts to run out of food, so the troop decides on a rescue mission. Of course here is where everything just goes completely wrong. The ending was not what I expected. There are some details below in the SPOILERS section, especially one subplot that really bothered me.
Good violence and gore. Acting, direction, and cinematography were all good. The dialogue wasn't bad. The security guards replaced the role of the bikers, which was just dang annoying. Bit slow in the middle like the original.
If you like Romero or zombie films, this is a must see. Also a decent purchase. Would work for a party.
*** SPOILERS ***
The infected people in the mall are put down in a serious fashion. As they said in "Full Metal Jacket", that's hardcore.
The thing that really bothered me was the Jerk hiding his pregnant wife's infected condition. Well, not so much protecting his wife, but treating the damn demon baby like it was a normal baby! The whole trio got their ass kicked, but not before Jerk got off a few shots himself. As much as I love my wife, I'm not going to tie her up as she slowly transforms, screaming, into a zombie and then pat my zombie child on the head! This was probably the most insane person ever, or just a really bad idea by Argento in the script.
Love the puppy scene running food over.
Hell of a way to end the movie. Couldn't at least one person survive? And who eventually got the videotape?
*** END SPOILERS ***