Communicator (communicator) wrote,
Communicator
communicator

The Crazies

The Crazies is a remake of a 1973 film by George Romero that I haven't seen. It's effectively a zombie movie, though as with many modern films like 28 Days Later they aren't 'actually' zombies (as in revived corpses) but people afflicted by a man-made biological agent. But this is a technicality. Like 28 Weeks Later, a fairly large element of the peril is the military containment of the infection, government disrespect for human rights, and one sees all sorts of parallels with the containment of terrorism and insurgency.

I just fancied going to the pics last night, and there was a selection of middlebrow genre films like Legion and Case 39 and Solomon Kane. I chose The Crazies just because the Sheriff is played by Timothy Olyphant, the Deadwood sheriff.

Anyway, this is a competent, does-what-it-says-on-the-tin zombie film. The journey of each individual from normal to crazy is a little slower and less homogenous than typical in such a film, more affected by individual personality (NB this being a positive thing). It's scary but not overly upsetting, not over-long, and it kept me interested and jumpy right through.

Olyphant was a competent lead. I think he has potential to give more than this, but I am not sure that he will ever be given a platform as good as Deadwood. He was wasted in Die Hard 4. There are two things he did here and in Deadwood, that are a bit more than by-numbers lead acting, and I think a good director would bring these out. One is a sort of deadpan humour, in the middle of a really bad situation. 'The town caught fire again sheriff!' His face doesn't change but he gives off a vibe like Marge Simpson growling. Made me laugh anyway.

The other thing he does well, and this also is from Deadwood, is the 'No more mister nice guy' moment. I know the good man pushed too far is the central action movie cliche, but I just think he changes particularly grimly and dramatically, and makes the cliche interesting again.

Anyway, these are good cards, whether they can be made into a stellar career I don't know.
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