… The Dead Don’t Die (spoiler free review)

Jim Jarmusch’s latest film is a wonderful comedy horror with a few small things that it could have done without…

Spoiler Free!

Bill Murray as Officer Cliff Robertson, Chloë Sevigny as Officer Minerva Morrison and Adam Driver as Officer Ronald Peterson

Plot

The town of Centerville is a sleepy town with only three police (Bill Murray, Adam Driver and Chloë Sevigny), a small diner, a run down gas station run by comic book nerd Bobby, a youth detention centre and an undertakers (just bought up by a Scottish Tilda Swinton).

Then, two zombies rise from the graveyard and commit a double murder in the diner. The police are shocked, but eventually give in to Officer Ronald (Driver)’s theory that it was, in fact, zombies.

Ensue zombie apocalypse.

Throw in a samurai sword wielding Zelda Winston (Swinton) and a slightly unnecessary cameo from Selena Gomez, and you’ve got yourself The Dead Don’t Die.

Thoughts

I laughed. I laughed a lot. Then script was, mostly, objectively funny. There was dark humour, pure comedy, sarcasm and a little slapstick. Driver’s character especially had a lot of great lines, and the whole cinema was audibly tickled.

Caleb Landry Jones as Bobby Wiggins and Danny Glover as hardware store owner Hank

The gore that we got was pretty good, a bit of guts goes a long way in a zombie movie and the blood sprays were classic. In fact the zombies in general were well done, they looked like classical un-dead but also self aware enough to be modern.

Speaking of self-aware, this was a theme that I thought was a little too much. I loved how Jarmusch broke the fourth wall, I loved how the characters seemed aware they were in fiction, but wasn’t a fan of the “message” that Jarmusch was trying to send – it was unnecessary for a genuinely funny comedy horror.

The Dead Don’t Die also seemed to lack a story line. I’m not sure if this is a really a criticism, as it almost didn’t need it. If you think of something like Shaun of the Dead, it has a similar theme but a very simple and clear plot: we are going to get from point A to point B and not die. This didn’t have that, it was more a disorganised romp, as I’m sure it would be, if a zombie apocalypse did come.

Swinton being badass

The last thing I had a small gripe with was Chloë Sevigny’s character. Admittedly Swinton’s undertaker (Zelda) was the most badass character, but as the only female police officer, I was disappointed with Sevingny’s character’s pathetic reaction to the situation.

I hope this hasn’t put you off! I still think it was a really great comedy and worth an evening.

Star Rating: 4/5

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