It’s Not Shaun Of The Dead:
If you’re expecting a zombie film with Jim Jarmasch’s The Dead Don’t Die, even of the humorous kind like Shaun Of The Dead, you will be disappointed with this movie. The Dead Don’t Die is directed by indie director Jim Jarmasch so we knew what we were going in to would be an alternative, dry style humour that kind of feels awkward and has messages revolving around social issues. The Dead Don’t Die explores a small-town drama during a zombie apocalypse, with police officers Cliff Robertson (Bill Murray) and Ronnie Peterson (Adam Driver) investigating the murder of two people at the Centerville diner. Ultimately, they’re consumed by concepts that they can’t understand, while an outcast who lives in the woods (Tom Waits as Hermit Bob) survives it all. Sounds like a zombie movie, right? Nope, The Dead Don’t Die starring Bill Murray, Adam Driver Selena Gomez, Tilda Swinton and Austin Butler, is a movie about pure cynicism.
What I will say is the cast is incredible and each actor was suited to the awkward dry humour like Murray and Driver. They really bounced off one another and the dialogue was solid. Some of their gags made me chuckle but I can’t say the same for the rest of the cinema. Selena Gomez and her “hipster” crew were wasted and pretty weak, and Swinton is too much. Swinton plays a completely over-the-top character and where her character ends up was absurd. I get that Jarmasch was trying to amuse the audience and I appreciate the fact that he was trying to reinivent the zombie movie wheel.
One of my biggest gripes of the movie was the social commentary sprinkled throughout. They kind of felt like one of those political cartoons you see in the newspaper. So blatant with it’s ’Make America White Again’ hats and Zombies slurring ‘wifi’, ‘bluetooth’ and ‘fashion’. It fell flat of what could have been a really good message and was so uninspired and lazy.
The film didn’t have any character developments or arcs. There were subplots evolving around a group of three kids in juvie that’s completely cut off from the rest of Centerville for the whole film, and it’s unclear why they’re even in the film. What was the point? 3 kids with no distinguishable personalities, remarking the world is going to end. I understand their presence if this movie was intended for younger audience, but believe me, it really isn’t.
So It’s Not A Zombie Movie, But Is It Worth Watching?
With the amazing cast, a few funny jokes and some solid cinematography; the movie was still nothing but stale. I still encourage everyone to check it out with the fact that it’s not your typical zombie comedy in mind and for the talent alone but don’t expect a lot of the storylines to have a payoff or a lot of the jokes to land.