Director: Henry Hobson
Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Abigail Breslin, Joely Richardson
Arnold Schwarzenegger and Abigail Breslin in Maggie. Pic/Santa Banta
The zombie movie genre has been done to, pardon the pun, death. It started in the 70's with George Romero's 'Of the Dead' series and for generations Hollywood has been trying to make the zombie genre profitable for both themselves and for the audiences.
The thing with the zombie genre is, it's not as glamorous as, say, the vampire genre. In this case we only get ugly slow moving morons trying to eat people. There's nothing sexy about it – there's just gore. So filmmakers have tried to subvert the genre by mixing zombies in a multitude of other scenarios, so we've had parodies like 'Shaun of the Dead', and even zombie based rom coms, appropriately titled Zom Coms. This time, Arnold Schwarzenegger gets to take a spin on the genre with his new film 'Maggie'.
'Maggie' is very unlike the subversions mentioned above – those were mostly comedic films with a dash of horror. 'Maggie' is dead serious about everything. The story is simple – the zombie apocalypse has happened, and Arnold Schwarzenegger's daughter is slowly turning into a zombie, and it's up to him to try and save her or let her go. The zombie plot mechanism is just a cover for the actual theme at hand – the father and daughter story, which makes you ponder how far would a father go to save his own daughter.
It's an interesting premise for sure, but the execution does not work. For one, the film is glacially paced. You'd be hard pressed to find another movie that moves slower than this one. Everything that happens is a dull, boring slog, and the film doesn't really say anything new or interesting to keep your attention alive. Schwarzenegger plays an incredibly serious role, something he hasn't done before, and his dramatic presence makes an impression. Unfortunately, his dramatic heft is imbalanced by the lack of plot development.
The film is also an indie, another first for Arnold Schwarzenegger, and that means keeping things minimalist. That means there are no big thrilling set pieces here, it's just people talking, mostly mumbling. The biggest letdown of the movie is that it isn't scary at all – it makes you wonder what the filmmakers were aiming for. Neither is the drama powerful enough to keep you interested, nor are there any cheap thrills for fun. 'Maggie' ultimately is stuck somewhere in between the two ends, and is a fairly big disappointment, especially for fans of Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Watch the 'Maggie' trailer