Terminator in Zombieland!
Maggie is a movie that seems it was made to make you cry more than scream.
In an post-apocalyptical world Abby Breslin is bitten by a zombie and her father (the Governator) has the task of not terminate but stay at his daughter's side while she's slowly transforming into a zombie in a matter of few days.
Maggie isn't an action movie although it has all the elements present in one and not even an horror movie either,only occasionaly.
Instead of just copying A-level Hollywood productions like World War Z this is a very intimistic picture about what happens when you're transforming slowly into a zombie.
It is like John Cassavetes had make a zombie movie with almost all scenes being interiors with plenty of dialogue and family life being looked closely while we see it being turned to pieces.
Focusing not on the flesh-eating creatures but in the effects of being bitten by one is without a doubt smart and original,but unfortunately Maggie fails more than it succeeds.
First of all we don't see Abby's attack that left her arm bitten.It could've been without a doubt a strong visceral scene by we being introduced to the title character and almost immediately after that she gets violently attacked by a zombie.After the hospital where she's in gives her the permission to just leave the quarantine while she's still human and simply come back to her house and family,waiting that when the stages of the infection gets worse her parents will take her back to the hospital.Really?That is really absurd because she's infected with a zombie virus clearly infectious and they gonna simply let her leave to go home?I'm sorry but that doesn't make any sense but on the one hand I understand the makers of the movie didn't want Abby to spend the entire movie immobile in a hospital bed with daddy Arnold by her side.It woul've been a very boring although realistic movie.
With Abby back home we can see how her disease affects everybody and everything she's next to and that generates genuine human emotions that echoes from the screen.
But also other problem is that the dialogue isn't deep enough as it should've been and the interactions between Arnold (father) and Abby (daughter) aren't as deep and sstisfactory as it should've been.
The incidental silence that permeates the movie is more empty than atmospheric.It just serves to show how minimal the script is really.
Of course Arnold and Abby have their moments (Abby the most in my opinion) but the dialogue and the performances are very restrained and when a movie talks about human drama and someone losing his loved one forever,being restrained is not a good choice for a movie like that.
This movie was a great opportunity for Arnold show his acting skills for drama in a rare role and I really think he's a very talented actor and he gives a good performance in a decent role but it makes you wishing for more as like the movie itself.I even find it surprising a movie that was the opportunity that Arnold waited for years to play a good dramatic role and at the end it was something so restrained for him to play.
For the movie to be better and with more pacing Arnold could've been more intense and obsessed in finding a cure for his daughter throughout the story in a way similar to Denzel Washington in John Q.The movie could've been more intense and more strongly-plotted.And since the zombie action is so minimal why don't give the few of the scenes featuring zombies a little more of depth?The bitting scene that should've been brief and intense;a great opportunity for Abby freak out and give an acting and drama show and also the scenes when she's slowly transforming herself into a zombie also could've been a great opportunity for her to show a great dramatic performance like Jeff Goldblum transforming himself into a giant fly but that isn't shown so we as it should have.
For example one scene that could've been scary is when the half-zombie Abby walks in the woods and eats a live red-fox,but nothing of that is shown,is only mentioned visually and verbally.What a disappointment.That scene could've been effectively revolting and a good moment for Abby to deliver a very good frightening performance.
When it comes to zombies and human drama this movie lacks both.It could've been more unsettling and graphic.
On the paper Maggie could've been a great opportunity to see a zombie movie that is also a metaphor about a disfunctional family and zombie infection serving as a metaphor of epidemics that can happen in the present like venereal diseases or the HIV.
If the makers of the movie had the same cleverness of George A. Romero to make his movies great metaphors it could've been an excellent picture,but unfortunately that is not the case.
Another ironic disappointment is that at the end of the movie we don't even see the transformation completed at all.This is without questioning the time for booing.
The movie's subtleties are in fact its biggest sin.
Maggie talks about plenty of things but rarely shows them so what's the purpose of the movie after all?
By the end Maggie is a movie thats you wanting for more,a lot more,it's pretty boring and could've been better without having commitment with drama.
However still the movie's concept is original and promising and just by that I'll have to give the movie points and it also has Arnold Schwarzenegger in it and it has zombies to...occasionaly.
My Rating 4 out of 10.
This review contains *spoilers*
Although Saturn 3 is clearly a low-key effort I think it really manages to be an entertaining picture.Regarding sci-fi movies people seems to always expect too much on the basic elements associated to the genre,like special effects and scientific accuracy.Since the movie doesn't try to explore deeply the latter the special effects are the real story here.It is dated alright,but there are great movies that were made decades ago that we considere dated and don't hold any prejudice against them like the Christopher Reeve-Superman films which are still the best out of the Superman movie franchise.If we watch a movie even if its inept in some aspects but we still try to understand what the makers of the film were trying to tell us them we can start appreciating a movie that in other way we would most likely look down without trying to give it an open-minded view.I was open-minded enough to see how the robot Hector was one of the most menacing space robots ever and how dark and claustrophobic the movie was.Do not expect a rumination about future,space or other common themes expected in sci-fi movies here this is basically a slasher film with a robot as villain that only happens to be on space,but that doesn't mean it's not entertaining,cause it is.It has the legendary Kirk Douglas but still the movie is so dark that even Spartacus himself is unable to defeat the enemy (Hector the robot) without sacrificing himself in the process.The movie has a bizarre almost dream-like feel I think it's part of the films ineptitude that helped it being atmospheric,and i'm not being sarcastic here.If you remember Alien that was released the year before Saturn 3 that movie was dark Ripley being the sole survivor along with Jones the Cat but at least she was able to escape from Nostromo and after a brief terrifying final encounter with the title character she escaped to safety.In Saturn 3 Kirk Douglas and Farrah Fawcett ain't that lucky their spacecraft is destroyed by Hector while they're trying to escape trapping all three together in the space station in Saturn's third moon (hence the title) and by doing so one of them will have to sacrifice himself (the man,of course) to save it's companion (Fawcett).Well I would like to see Lieutenant Ripley in that kind of situation at the end of Alien,who she would sacrifice except herself?Jones the Cat?I gotta say that this movie tried to be visually poetic at times for example Kirk Douglas imolation taking Hector with him with explosives was so visually grotesque.They exploding together inside on the water,slow motion,human flesh and robot parts flying with water splashing all over so grotesque it reminded me of the infamous nauseating death of the great white shark in Jaws 4:The Revenge.Actually this scene specifically seems to be influenced by a similar scene from Michelangelo Antonioni's Zabriskie Point.Overall this movie is inept,bizarre,grotesque,incomplete,ugly,laughable and unfocused,but is also ambitious,dark,cruel,unsensitive,cold,nightmarish,violent,transgressive and allucinating.It is not as sharp intelligent as Alien but still if your'e looking for a science fiction film that doesn't talk about science fiction but crazy murderous robots on the loose and Kirk Douglas giving a bizarre hilarious speech before killing himself,then this is certainly a great messy fun.