Shaun of the Dead Reviews
On the down side, the ending kind of fell apart (pun intended), and while there were REALLY funny parts, the writing could have been beefed up a bit for stronger laughs. Maybe it is just British humor, who knows?
Anyway, I've enjoyed the two Edgar Wright movies I've watched, so I thought I might get into the Cornetto trilogy. And while I don't usually like zombie movies, Shaun of the Dead I liked immensely. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are two very funny actors who I have admired for years, and to see them together is just a joy. Two morally corrupt(I'm just going to say that because Nick Frost's character, Ed, says the n-word so casually) characters are having crises of their own, when a zombie apocalypse strikes and they suddenly have to fend for themselves and their loved ones.
Shaun of the Dead contains so many funny jokes and creative gags, it's hard to keep track. The Batman vinyl album, the intentional car crash just to get the slick-looking car, Shaun and his girlfriend having a row, I enjoyed them all. Of course, Edgar Wright is great with visual jokes, and it astounded me how much precision and care obviously went into certain shots(Shaun's daily routine being repeated with identical camera movements). Even in the comical madness, the emotional moments really felt like they mattered.
I'd also like to compliment how this movie dealt with the "aftermaths" of a zombie apocalypse, and Wright didn't hesitate to make another dab at contemporary society. We see zombies being used as manual labor workers and objects of sport. We see humanity at their barest in the most satirical way. And that's really hard to find in any zombie material, so I give Shaun of the Dead kudos for that. I just love this movie. I just hope it didn't do the n-word.
Edgar Wright has such a unique style to his films and he really understands comedy. Shaun of the Dead shares a lot of these specialities. The comedy is top-notch and the interactions between characters are really funny. It's unique in its cinematography too, long takes edited to the beat and so much more. Shaum of the Dead is a great big-screen directorial debut for Edgar Wright!
The comedy is prevalent throughout and is always perfectly timed and delivered by Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. In many films that try to appeal to the mature audience, while also including humour that could be appreciated by a younger viewer, tends to have tonal issues. Although, I feel that Shaun of the Dead has that balanced perfectly, providing some great laugh-out-loud moments, without taking away the mature feel of the film.
The screenplay is expertly written. I find in some films that a character will say something that to me, doesn't feel quite natural; which then takes me out of the experience and all of a sudden, the remainder of the film feels like a film. One aspect of filmmaking being an art is that you're able to captivate an audience and take them out of the current world they're in and take them into a completely different universe. For me, Shaun of the Dead never has a moment like this. The witty dialogue always flows naturally in each conversation, while still being able to still have great one-liners and moments, without sounding forced.
Another aspect that excels, present in all Wright films, is the use of editing and how it not only adds comedic value but conveys the narrative to the audience. The aforementioned montage sequences are very useful in getting a lot of information across without taking up much screen time at all. The way we transition from scene to scene is very effective, while being very obvious (by using extreme close-ups and exaggerated sound, such as the door of The Winchester) it is almost invisible for those who aren't specifically looking for it.
The only real issue that I have is that the third act is very much what I would expect to see in a generic monster film; a group of people holding down a building trying to fight of the monster. I feel, even though it is an adequate ending to the film, the expectation that the previous two acts had built up, I wanted to see a finale that was more unique and memorable. However, the only reason I have this issue is because of the sheer quality of the entire film, please don't misinterpret what i'm saying, the ending isn't bad at all, just not the direction I would have liked to have seen the film go in.
That being said, the film is amazing and was one of the first "horror-type" films I watched as a terrified nine year old, so this has always had a place in my heart.