1.5/10 With a cast this stacked, you would think that there would be some fun to be had, some epic zombie action, maybe some hilarious banter, etc. Well you would be dead wrong. Coming off of the terrible and pretentious “Paterson”, writer/director Jim Jarmusch continues to put out garbage and at this point I really don’t know why these talented casts want to continue working with him. Perhaps they just enjoy acting alongside each other. I was impressed at the opening credits by how big and talented the cast was but after having viewed this, I can say that most of these actors are only in a couple scenes, aren’t developed at all and are just there to show up to get killed for the most part. For a zombie movie, the zombie aspects are not scary or exciting to watch. There are even some minor inconsistencies with how a couple of the zombies die. For a drama, there is a paper thin plot that tries to get political (more on that in a bit) and fails miserably. For a comedy, there are only a couple funny parts and all of that is owed to the always reliable Adam Driver. The script here is truly awful. Characters repeat the same line dozens of times in an attempt to be funny or ironic or something but it gets old really quick. The movie is named after the song “The Dead Don’t Die” by Sturgill Simpson which was written for the movie but it is so overused (the song probably gets played five or six times and no other songs do so you’ll really get tired of it) that it feels like the movie is just a giant advertisement for the song itself. The movie is at its worst when it tries to get really meta. Characters comment on how the song plays over the opening credits. There is an Adam Driver “Star Wars” moment. Yet the most painfully bad, meta moment is saved for the end of the movie as characters actually talk about how they read this script and know how the movie ends and then comment on the movie’s writer/director. It is really unnecessary, painful to watch and serves no purpose. I never understood why most movies try to be meta. It works for something like “Deadpool” or when the whole movie continuously does it but when it is just randomly sprinkled throughout for no apparent reason, it is cringe worthy to watch. Jim Jarmusch has said how he isn’t a zombie fan but was inspired by George A. Romero. Romero’s “Night of the Living Dead” in 1968 was the OG zombie movie that started an entire subgenre of horror films. Romero subtly had some major political undertones but as I said, the key word there is “subtly”. Jarmusch must have watched Romero’s zombie movies and thought, “All I have to do is make a movie with zombies in it and I can throw in political messages. That doesn’t sound too hard.” What Jarmusch failed to understand is that when the political aspects are so blatant, over the top and in your face, it comes off as more of a parody than a movie that actually has something to say. For a movie that is an hour and 43 minutes long, a couple scenes really drag and make the movie seem longer. The only positives I can say about this movie are that Adam Driver is fantastic playing it straight and Tilda Swinton is great playing her usual weird character that she always seems to play. Those two actors really stand out and there are a couple of funny moments. With its wasted characters that aren’t developed, cliché dumb decisions that otherwise intelligent characters make, lack of proper editing, lower production values when it comes to special effects, inconsistent zombies, unsubtle political messaging and painfully unfunny meta crap that takes you out of the movie in a really bad way, I wish this was a movie that really did die. If you want to see Bill Murray in something with zombies in it, go watch “Zombieland” instead and thank me later.
#YawnOfTheDead / #TriteOfTheLivingDead / #Zombiebland / #SpaceSham / #StarBoresTheRiseOfWalkers / #TheLegendOfZelda