Now I am what you could call a zombie movie fanatic. Even though this movie is really a zombie movie (but technically it is) I still really wanted to see it. Sure it had a lame title, a questionable cast, and a bad director, I still wanted to see it. Well I finally got my chance and the wait was definitely worth it. The film is a horror remake of the 1973 George A. Romero movie. That was another questionable aspect, a horror remake. 9.9 times out of 10 that will not end up good, but trust me this one did.The Crazies is about the small town Ogden Marsh in Iowa, which is your typical small town. Everyone knows each other, the pass time is high school baseball, and farming is the industry to be in. But then all of the citizens start acting… well you guessed it, Crazy! So the sheriff (Timothy Olyphant) along with his wife (Radha Mitchell), his deputy (Joe Anderson), and a young local girl (Danielle Panabaker) try to escape from all the madness. But of course there had to be another obstacle, and of course that obstacle would be the government. The government finds out about the craziness and wants to contain the town, AKA fuck everything up.
The film was directed by Breck Eisner, which is a great surprise to me. He directed one of the biggest movie flops of all time, Sahara (2005) starring the dreadful Matthew McConaughey. I never saw it and never plan to but this has to be a step up. Breck does an excellent job in directing this film. His camera work in the movie definitely adds suspense to the movie, and it adds a nice style to it. He also gets some extremely intense shots, whether they be traditional still shots, motion shots, or jumping shots (going from one spot to another quickly). Everything he does seem to be just right and brilliant. He does an excellent job of making this remake modern, but still keeping it campy and enjoyable.
Breck does an excellent job of guiding this film on the right path. It’s definitely scary, with some intense action, good jumps, and an entertainment value that is priceless. Sure this movie has some clichés, but that’s the writers fault, and Breck doesn’t let that get in the way of his directing, another good skill he has; working with a flawed script. He is set to direct the remake of Flash Gordon (1980) a movie that I watched and like as a child myself, though it was on DVD. That’s set to come out in 2012 and after what he’s done with this I’m excited for that remake, probably the first time I’ve ever said that.
The acting in this movie… isn’t actually that bad! It is not what I’d call Oscar worthy, or even good on a standard of a Drama. But as far as Horror movies go, or even remakes, this is a great acted. But in the perspective of all movies, it’s just good. Timothy Olyphant plays his role very well, a typical horror lead with actually a little bit more. He plays the handsome (not my words), tough, hero of the film that must save the day. He does all that very well, which is definitely a turn of roles considering he is usually the bad guy. Recently he has been taking lead good guy roles and I like it. He plays the role with a certain seriousness that really makes me think of a cowboy in an old western. I really liked Timothy, I think he’s a good actor and this is just another movie in the bag for him. He was literally meant for this role, because I can’t picture anyone else doing as good as he did. He could be on the level as spectacular. This is nothing revolutionary, or Oscar worthy, but he does good at what he was going for, a classic role that’s been done but he does it in a good way that’s entertaining.
The supporting cast did good, but nothing spectacular like Olyphant. Radha Mitchell plays Olyphant’s wife who is a doctor. She is just a typical damsel in distress, but she wasn’t an annoying character, which is a great thing for damsel everywhere. Usually a damsel will be very annoying and intolerable but she does good at what she was going for. Joe Anderson plays Olyphant’s Deputy, and he, like the others, does what he was going for. He’s your classic southern boy, born and bred. The only other movie I saw him in was Across the Universe (2007) which I liked him in, but this is a completely different role. He starts off as that lovable sidekick that is always a good fun to have around, for audience and the character’s purposes pleasure. Then as the movie progresses he slowly starts getting a little more… southerner, but in a Deliverance kind of way… so not a good thing. Danielle Panabker is just another DID, and her role is basically the same as Radha’s, only not as good. She was kind of annoying at times because she does nothing, but at least there were times when Radha kicked ass. Nothing really worth talking about. All the crazies, by the way, do an excellent job at being crazy. They didn’t get any extras, they got good actors to do these roles, and you can tell.
The screenplay was written by Scott Kosar & Ray Wright. Both have experience in the horror, and remake, field. The movie is definitely suspenseful and completes what it attempts to be. A fun, at times scary, horror movie. Sure the movie has clichés, and that’s what holds it back from being better. But at times the clichés are needed, like in the beginning, but as the movie progresses they just get old and not needed. The ending also feels kind iffy. But it tries to stay in the vein of a B movie and it does just that. But sometimes the campy feeling, AKA bad writing feels old and used too many times nowadays. Though I do like the pacing of the movie. It jumps right into the story and develops characters as it goes along, instead of in the beginning. The first scene is very intense that I was on the edge of my seat; it contains a high school baseball game, a nice sunny day, and a drunk with a shotgun, only he’s not drunk. Yeah, it’s that cool.
This movie accomplishes what it goes for, that’s all, but that’s also a good thing. It didn’t try to be something it wasn’t and it ends up just being a good flick. Also there is a debate whether or not this is a zombie movie or not, I consider it one if most people can consider 28 Days Later one. Because in that nobody was ever dead, they were infected with a virus of rage. In this they were infected with a virus of craziness. Case closed, I win.