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Overall Rating
2.87

Awesome: 0%
Worth A Look: 35.48%
Average: 19.35%
Pretty Bad41.94%
Total Crap: 3.23%

4 reviews, 7 user ratings


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Crazies, The (2010)
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by Rob Gonsalves

"Rent the original instead."
3 stars

If you think of "The Crazies" as an adaptation of a nonexistent Stephen King story, I guess it’ll be more enjoyable.

It has a few King trademarks: the small rural place, the laconic heroes doing what they can to survive. It’s essentially The Stand meets Cell. The movie, though, is a remake of a film that predates most of King’s published work — a 1973 chiller directed by George A. Romero. The earlier Crazies is best seen now as a dry run for Romero’s Dawn of the Dead — it has the same large-scale focus and a similar dim view of humanity under pressure. It was also, I think, Romero’s Nixon-era, post-Kent State don’t-trust-the-government riff. The new Crazies borrows the paranoia but doesn’t seem to emerge from anything personal; it’s just the latest classic-horror remake, after they’ve run out of Romero zombie films to redo. (I look forward to a Martin remake starring Michael Cera. Well, not really. Don't get any ideas, you Hollywood assholes.)

The infected people in The Crazies aren’t zombies; exposed to an experimental virus, they lose their minds and turn violently homicidal. If it sounds familiar, that’s because 28 Days Later ripped off the premise and set it in England. Anyway, a plane goes down near Ogden Marsh, Iowa, and the bio-warfare muck it’s carrying gets into the local water supply. Sheriff Timothy Olyphant and his physician wife Radha Mitchell start noticing people acting funny. The town drunk wanders onto the local baseball field with a shotgun during a game. Worried wives take their suddenly spacey husbands to Mitchell’s office. Soon enough, the whole town is targeted for “isolation,” which seems to mean destroying property indiscriminately.

The Crazies is acted and executed competently enough (this is director Breck Eisner’s second theatrical feature, after 2005’s amiable adventure Sahara). But the new script (credited to Scott Kosar and Ray Wright) doesn’t take the premise anywhere fresh. If you’ve seen any of the aforementioned zombie/contamination movies, you will sit through this one entirely unsurprised by anything that happens. The physician, of course, is pregnant, which is supposed to up the stakes, but we’ve seen so many women-with-child-in-an-apocalypse before — right down to the recent Legion — that the trope has lost any power it once had. Funny, too, how the physician never gets to use her medical knowledge after a certain point, though you’d think it would come in handy.

A nearly unrecognizable Joe Anderson (Across the Universe) turns in invaluable support as Olyphant’s deputy; he keeps you guessing whether the deputy’s growing paranoia is due to stress or contamination. The physician’s office assistant joins the trio on the run for a while, leading to an extremely unnecessary sidetrack search for the assistant’s boyfriend. We don’t care what happens to either of them. Olyphant and Mitchell are no slouches, but after a while they run out of notes to play, as does the movie. Romero’s original film focused more on the government’s hapless attempts to contain the plague (and showcased a much wider variety of the infected townspeople’s shocking behavior); this one takes a narrower, less interesting view, sticking with the small group of survivors, and we’ve been there before.

Romero had plenty to say with his film, and he said it loudly and angrily. This one has nothing much to say except that seeing your town overrun by psychos and gas-masked sociopaths would really suck.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=18394&reviewer=416
originally posted: 03/01/10 12:04:11
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User Comments

2/27/13 David Hollingsworth One of the better remakes. It was a huge surprise. 4 stars
1/27/11 Danny Pretty good 4 stars
11/18/10 mr.mike It was "no bad". 4 stars
7/03/10 othree Good try on the 3 main actors, otherwise predictable crap 2 stars
6/15/10 porfle What's not to like? It's a good flick. 4 stars
3/17/10 Chad Dillon Cooper Ultimate Hollywood Hostess twinkie BS. Weenies will think its AWESOME!! 1 stars
3/03/10 Stanley Thai Films like THE CRAZIES give us hope to the slowly dying horror genre. 4 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  26-Feb-2010 (R)
  DVD: 29-Jun-2010

UK
  26-Feb-2010 (15)

Australia
  26-Feb-2010 (MA)
  DVD: 29-Jun-2010




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