Review: 'Pride and Prejudice and Zombies' a crazy idea that works

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES: 3 ½ STARS

Imagine "The Walking Dead" as seen through the lens of "Masterpiece Theatre.

See Full Article

" Or maybe the love child of Jane Austen and George A. Romero. Either way, you get the high concept idea of the new Lily James film "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies." It's such a whack-a-doodle idea it's either going to be great or the worst thing ever.

Set in 19th century England, the movie shares some character names and situations with the novel but in this new, fanciful version a plague has turned much of the population into "ravishing unmentionables."

These zombies are different than the "Night of the Living Dead" style droolers. If these ever-civilized British stenches never consume human brains, they will never fully transform. Still, enough of them have changed to warrant building a Trump-style anti-undead wall around London and for regular folk to become zombie-killing ninjas. Literally.

In this story upper crust English families send their children to Japan or China to learn the secrets of martial arts. One such clan are the Bennets.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombie film review

All five daughters are deadly—with knives hidden in their petticoats—but second oldest Elizabeth (Lily James) is a Shaolin monk trained fighter who can disembowel a zombie before you can say "Mr. Darcy."

Speaking of Mr. Darcy, he's a Colonel with a bloodlust for brain-eaters and a romantic lust for Elizabeth. His rival for Elizabeth's affections is Mr. Wickham (Jack Huston), a handsome lieutenant who wants to try and find a way to coexist with the unwanted invaders. "Soon the dead will outnumber the living," he says. "Nine months to make a baby, 16 years to turn them into a soldier… but just two seconds to make a zombie."

As the zombie menace intensifies so do things between Wickham, Darcy and Lizzie. A final showdown brings them all together, alongside their pride, prejudice and yes, zombies.

The idea of "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" may be koo koo bananas but it works. When they aren't trying to make Blighty an undead free zone, or high kicking and karate chopping, for the most part they play it straight.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombie film review

As Darcy watches Lizzie slice-and-dice her way through a crowd of zombies he looks on in admiration, reciting a quote from the book about her face being rendered, "uncommonly intelligent by the beautiful expression of her dark eyes." The situation is ridiculous but the actors play it straight, heightening the absurdity.

It's not all Austen, however. Darcy's use of carrion flies to identify people who have been bitten but not yet turned into zombies—they're attracted to dead flesh—is far beyond the English novelist's sense or sensibility. Instead of Austen trademarked biting irony, there's just a lot of biting.

As for gore, I'm sure the film would horrify Austen, but there's more actual blood-and-guts in the first 10 minutes of most "Walking Dead" episodes than in this entire movie.

"Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" makes the best of its one joke, the mashup of Austen romantic fiction with zombie realism, deftly (and ridiculously) blending the sublime with the ultraviolent.



Advertisements

Latest Entertainment News

  • Big Brother Canada to return for sixth season in 2018

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    TORONTO — The fans have spoken and Global TV says Big Brother Canada will be returning in 2018. The fate of the series was in doubt after host Arisa Cox said in June that the Canadian edition of the reality franchise was going on hiatus and would not return next year. Source
  • Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington dead [Photos] [Video]

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Linkin Park rocker Chester Bennington has taken his own life following the death of his good friend Chris Cornell. The singer’s body was discovered at a Palos Verdes, California residence on Thursday morning and sources tell TMZ Bennington had hanged himself. Source
  • RuPaul, Lupita N'yongo part of 2018 Pirelli calendar's all-black cast

    Entertainment CBC News
    For the first time since 1987, the 2018 Pirelli calendar features an all-black ensemble of influential artists. Shot by British photographer Tim Walker, the calendar features internationally acclaimed actors, singers, and personalities dressed up as characters from the whimsical world of Alice in Wonderland. Source
  • 'Sounds stupid as hell:' HBO's Confederate, by Game of Thrones showrunners, earns early scorn

    Entertainment CBC News
    HBO has attracted harsh criticism for its newly announced series helmed by the creators behind Game of Thrones. The cable network announced Wednesday that David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are set to co-write Confederate, an original series with an alternate-history take on slavery in the United States. Source
  • Details revealed in deaths of two stunt pilots in Tom Cruise movie

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    A full investigation on the deaths of two renowned pilots in the Tom Cruise’s American Made film has been exposed, RadarOnline.com can reveal. In a study, The Hollywood Reporter looked into the fatal incidents, first reported by THR, to see what really happened on the set of the risky war movie. Source
  • WATCH: Halle Berry downs half pint of whisky at Comic-Con panel [Video]

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    SAN DIEGO — Taron Egerton is no match for Channing Tatum in a fight and Halle Berry can hold her liquor. Those are just a few of the messages Comic-Con audiences got Thursday at the Hall H panel for “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” that kicked off the annual fan convention. Source
  • Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington dead [Photos]

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Linkin Park rocker Chester Bennington has taken his own life following the death of his good friend Chris Cornell. The singer’s body was discovered at a Palos Verdes, California residence on Thursday morning and sources tell TMZ Bennington had hanged himself. Source
  • Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington dead at 41, says coroner

    Entertainment CTV News
    LOS ANGELES -- Linkin Park lead singer Chester Bennington, who sold millions of albums with a unique mix of hard rock, hip-hop and rap, was found dead in his home near Los Angeles on Thursday, the Los Angeles County coroner says. Source
  • Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington dies in L.A. at 41

    Entertainment CTV News
    LOS ANGELES -- Linkin Park lead singer Chester Bennington, who sold millions of albums with an ever-changing mix of hard rock, hip-hop and rap, was found dead in his home near Los Angeles on Thursday, the Los Angeles County coroner said Thursday. Source
  • Kermit the Frog performer: Firing a ‘complete shock’

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    NEW YORK — The longtime performer of Kermit the Frog says Disney’s decision to fire him from the role came as “a complete shock.” Appearing on NBC’s “Today” show Thursday, Steve Whitmire also pushed back on claims from the Muppets Studio that Whitmire’s “repeated unacceptable business conduct” over many years was to blame for his dismissal. Source