7 Aug 2013

'Dawn of the Dead (2004)' DVD Review

Director: Zack Snyder
Writer: James Gunn
Stars: Sarah Polley, Ving Rhames, Jake Weber, Mekhi Phifer, Ty Burrell

When a zombie infection breaks loose, a group of surviving civilians take refuge at a large Mall, and as the numbers grow inside the number of flesh-eating zombies build on the outside, making their survival harder day by day; They fight for survival.

Following the life of Ana, she and her boyfriend is attacked by a neighbourhood child you has been infected. After feasting on her boyfriend infecting him, Ana escapes and is in a car accident, were she is found by Kenneth, a police officer and a small group of survivors. Fleeing to a near Mall, they come across security guards within the Mall who demand leadership, and soon, when more survivors enter they try to live and stay in safety from the infected that horde the outer ground of the Mall.

Dawn of the Dead does what most remakes fail to do, deliver the classic theme with a successful and fresh twist. That's exactly how to sum up Zack Snyder's Dawn; a fun, fast and furious zombie flick that re-invents the genre to a modern pace. Was it 2004's Dawn that brought around the running zombie? I think so, and many just don't agree with the road Dawn created for future zombie flicks, but if you ask me, fast infected make for a more intense ride than a fumbling "brainnnnssss" zombie; that's just how I feel.

Though it doesn't quite match the masterful suspense and mood of the original, it doesn't mind adding a little spice to the over 2-hour long 1978 Version, and proves that cutting right to the point may be a bold but smart move for a pretty epic-scaled zombie affair. Sure, a die-hard fan of the original has every right to dislike a movie that completely ignores the style of the first, but 2004's Dawn makes it own version of events, and brings an old tale to a new audience.

The plot is basic and the acting is solid, but it's neither that provide that give it that spring in its stride, Snyder's snappy and edgy direction provides this furious style that ups the intensity that maintains its strength that is established from the beginning and delivers it right to the very end credits. Never failing to loose momentum, Dawn's edgy physic only gets stronger with progression, and the movie peaks so high that it almost becomes nerve-shredding, that's how good it is.

Perhaps I am over-doing this review, I mean I could be making it out be quite a bit better than what it is, but maybe its the fact that it's a rare zombie movie that works never mind a remake that is a complete success. In saying all of this, Dawn does come with a few hiccups that do deflate the overall impact of the movie, maybe not by much but still. It can become a little frustrating to watch at times, but again that just comes with Snyder's direction. A few pointless plot moments added the extra unwanted bump to the ride, and the whole side plot involving an infected woman giving birth to an infected baby all felt a little too pointless and invalid to the actual main narrative; like something to keep the audience busy; the story didn't even stop to revolve around it either...

Everything that Dawn presents may not be prim and perfect, but its a bloody good attempt at remaking a classic, and if you ask me, it did a pretty great job at trying to do something different while maintaining what made the original so iconic. Was it perfect? Nope, Did I love it? Yes. How could you not, it provides nearly everything we plead for in zombie flicks, and let's face it, no zombie movie is perfect, but Dawn does come close to delivering a perfect balls-to-the-wall, fun and fast zombie flick, but fails at the last hurdle with a few inept characters and side-plots.

VERDICT: 2004's Dawn of the Dead may not match the original craft of Romero's original, but Snyder delivers a fun, fast and glorious zombie flick that sets a high standard for future remakes; Prepare for a gleefully gory, furious and epic zombie affair.

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