Saturday, September 23, 2006

Land of the Dead

Title: Land of the Dead (2005)
Dir: George Romero
Rating: * out of 5 stars

Look up disappointment in the dictionary. And that's my review for Land of the Dead.

Seriously, what the hell, George?

Let's get this out of the way first: Romero movies are the last place I ever want to see CGI gore, but goddammit, they used it anyway! Even Greg Nicotero's work here was disappointingly subpar, though still bounds ahead of the useless computer-generated splatter. Some really cool gore scenes were RUINED by this shit. Grrrrrrrrrr!!!

I guess I should describe the film before I go on. As you should already know, it is the fourth installment in Romero's zombie series. The film focuses on a city where the zombies are barricaded out, but inside the humans are divided between the crime-ridden poor, and the comfortable rich, who reside safely in a gigantic mall (that last part sound familiar?). Meanwhile, the zombies are getting smarter and figuring a way into the city.

Okay, now back to my rant: I'd always admired Romero's previous attempts to criticize society and government through his zombie films, but the idea falls flat on its face in Land. I didn't give a damn about the poverty-stricken people, and I didn't sufficiently hate the spoiled rich either - even Dennis Hopper's character, who created this social divide. In short, I didn't give two shits about anyone in this movie, good or bad; human or zombie.

The plot - something to do with John Leguizamo stealking a tank and a group of 'good' guys getting it back - gets completely ridiculous. All of the actors are equal parts obnoxious and unlikable. And like its MUCH better predecessor Day of the Dead, this film tries to make us sympathize with the zombies, and WOW does it fail!

I couldn't have cared less if Land's Big Daddy got his rotting skull smashed in with a 9-iron, whereas I would have given Day's Bub a hug even at the risk of losing my grey matter. Nothing about this film's zombies impressed me or made me remotely like them. Nor were they sufficiently scary enough to fulfill their horror role. What a waste. This movie is frustrating for Romero fans like me. I love you old man, but you had better make up for this with Diary of the Dead!