Shaun of the Dead Reviews
Put simply, a regular working stiff must contend with his everyday mundane life that includes various family problems and girlfriend issues. Oh and at the same time there's that zombie apocalypse thing to deal with also, geez some days you just can't catch a break huh.
Now I will admit I'm not a zombie fan, I'm more of a vampire and werewolf person, my reasons? simply because all zombie flicks are almost identical. This comedy/parody/homage is again no difference from the myriad of other zombie flicks out there accept its funny. There is no real explanation for the zombie outbreak, it just happens, but that's not important, this is simply an amusing sketch that has been stretched out into a film.
That's not to say it doesn't work as it does, but its not as good as many rave on about in my personal opinion. I didn't really get on with the film when I saw it the first time round and this time I can still see why. The start of the film is great fun, I really enjoyed watching'Shaun' flounder in his dead end job with his young teenage staff that don't give a shit...a typical British trait that I've seen in reality. I liked to watch him and his best mate 'Ed' in their trashy rented accommodation that is easily a 'Men Behaving Badly/Bottom' type scenario that we Brits do so well.
The set up for the film is perfect, a slobby male couple who seem to crawl through life having work/girlfriend issues but plenty of time for drinking and Playstation. Nick Frost is the perfect pub dwelling, overweight, student-like representation and Pegg is the perfect down trodden bloke dreaming of better things. As the zombie outbreak starts to flare up I loved how these two guys don't really notice and when they do it still takes time for it to sink in (as it would). Small sequences where they attack zombies, try to work out what's going on by sitting on the couch, having a drink and watching TV and then trying to get to Shaun's mums house are the best moments early on in the film.
I guess what I don't like about the film is the fact it turns into a semi serious weepy/drama...almost. As the film progresses and the small band of survivors haul up in a pub (how typically British), the film does tend to get quite emotional in parts, little moments that do actually put a lump in your throat (when Shaun's mum dies). Its these points that make me wonder what the film actually wants to be. Essentially the film splits and takes on a whole new approach, first half is a funny sight gag parody, second half becomes a more serious action thriller with emotional deaths, I'm just not sure that I liked that decision.
Its certainly an amusing jaunt that adheres to the old school original zombie school of thought...or laws. In that I mean the zombies are slow moving, lurching creatures that groan a lot and stagger around arms outstretched in a cliched manner. They don't run or think or assist each other, they just stumble around and eat whatever happens to fall in their path, oh and there are are plenty of little tributes to various other zombie classics of course. Think of it along the lines of 'An American Werewolf in London' but not as dark or adult, but as I've said in my other reviews this could so easily be the next Monty Python flick.
Plenty of offensive British language which we all love so much, toilet humour, gore and pop culture references galore. The cast are excellent, the whole film looks good in that quirky little England type of way (good old North London eh) and the dialog is sharp...but I still think 'Hot Fuzz' is the superior of the trilogy.
NOTE: Keep an eye out for Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright when you watch George A.Romero's Land Of The Dead
Whilst the whole idea of "Shaun of the Dead" is a parody on the greatest zombie hits, most obviously of course, "Dawn of the Dead", the script written by Wright and star Simon Pegg, is clever and witty, creating a certain you have to smile even though sometimes you don't want to feeling, surrounding the film.
Pegg plays his usual British awkward guy character, and does it well, however with the best performances coming from his best friend Nick Frost and the supporting cast, the protagonist of the story is sometimes out shined by others. Dylan Moran changes from his Bernard Black drunk Irish performance, to produce a high brow, snooty and twit like character, and he does it very well. Penelope Wilton and Bill Nighy also have fleeting appearances, and perform up to the expected standard from their dialogue.
The cinematography is interesting with a liberal use of whip pans, but what really stands out is the story and screenplay, which manage to combine some action packed car chases, zombie attacks and light sitcom style humour all in a little over ninety minutes.
A breakthrough first film from Edgar Wright who could have chose a much safer genre to try and enter the film industry. Instead, going for a zombie spoof and an unknown cast, the screenplay creates a very British comedy film, whilst appealing to worldwide audiences through the horror aspect.
Never forgetting its intended dedicated zombie splatter fans, whilst entertaining all cinema goers, "Shaun of the Dead" is a film with flaws, but fun to watch and giggle at.
"It's just one of those days when you're feeling a little... dead."
I really don't know how to describe Shaun of the Dead, except it's a comedy... with zombies. There's been other movies since it that morphed zombies with comedy like Fido and the great Zombieland. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost lead the cast as two lazy roommates. Together with Simon's ex-girlfriend, mom and another couple they try to survive a zombie apocalypse.
What I really love about this movie is the humor isn't to in your face; at least not all the time. Pegg and Frost have great chemistry on screen together and Kate Ashfield is really good too. This is one of those movies that is really easy to love. The dialogue is funny and the characters fire back at each other quickly. Sometimes fast dialogue comes off as annoying, but here it really works.
I'd have to say this is probably one of the best zombie movies ever made; be it a straight horror or a comedy. Most zombie movies feel lame and uninspired because there's only so much you can do with zombies. Movies like Shaun of the Dead and Zombieland have really breathed new life into the genre though. Shaun of the Dead is really fun to watch and a truly hilarious movie. Edgar Wright has shown since Shaun that he can make more then just one good movie too.
Hilarious and a lot of fun, but upon re-watching I can't help but notice severe pacing issues during the final acts of the film where things almost come to a halting stop as the cast bunkers up in the tavern. Especially with the contrive attempt at drama that left me wondering why it took such a serious and exhausting emotional turn.