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Sunday, June 16, 2019

Review: The Dead Don't Die

Director: Jim Jarmusch
Screenplay: Jim Jarmusch
Year: 2019

Synopsis: The peaceful town of Centerville finds itself battling a zombie horde as the dead start rising from their graves.

"The Dead Don't Die" is the most recent proposal from director and writer Jim Jarmusch ("Broken Flowers"). If you know something about the career of this directory you will know that his style has as many followers as detractors; in summary, his idea of moviemaking is not for everyone. To make it clear from the beginning, "The Dead Don't Die" did not manage to put me between its followers and I hope I can explain why in this review.

The first thing that stands out about this movie is a cast full of established and successful actors and actresses. Among some of the outstanding names are those of Bill Murray ("Lost in Translation"), Adam Driver (“Star Wars: The Last Jedi”), Tilda Swinton (“Constantine”) and Selena Gomez (“Getaway”). All of them, as expected, do an excellent job, but the plot doesn't make you interested in them. None of the principal characters are well developed and others only have a few scarce minutes, both of which converge in the same problem, some characters that you do not understand their motives and you don't care what happens with them.

Like what happens with the characters, the rest of the problems of this movie comes from the script. The films of Jarmusch are recognized for not having a well-established plot but in this case, it's taken to the extreme. It seems like he wanted his screenplay to represent the zombies, a lifeless soulless being roaming the world without path or purpose. While the movie progresses, you keep asking yourself where it is heading, and at the end, you realize it is not going anywhere and is an absolute nonsense.

The other big problem with "The Dead Don't Die" is that to be a horror and comedy movie, it does not do good use of neither genres. It does have some gory scenes, but they are few and does not present anything too uncomfortable or groundbreaking. This didn't surprise me, as I expected it will rely more on the comedy, but it does nothing interesting with this genre. The comedy parts are not good enough to take you out of the lethargy that the lack of direction and the rhythm in which the plot is developed puts you in, making it highly boring.

"The Dead Don't Die" is not a movie for everyone and it certainly wasn't for me. The incoherent story and the style that Jarmusch imposes in it ends up hindering the potential of the initial idea and the great cast. It tries to put itself into the group of zombie horror comedies as "Zombieland" or "Shaun of the Dead but falls far from the quality of those and I don't think that it will get a similar cult following.

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