Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies ticketstubPride and Prejudice and Zombies tries to present a 19th century England where there's been a zombie outbreak, and also Pride and Prejudice is happening. Of course, we've all seen a bazillion zombie outbreak movies, but most take place in modern times, so seeing how this rather significant issue is addressed in the 1800's is refreshing. I liked seeing the machines of war and the defensive measures employed like a giant wall around London surrounded by a giant moat. There was also a sense of history to this world when characters would describe "the second battle of Kent" and the like. Unfortunately, the rest of it felt like an awkward mash-up of two things that don't easily fit together, i.e. Pride and Prejudice, and zombies.

Classism is a big part of Pride and Prejudice, and that's a big part of this movie as well. As you might expect, zombies are the lower classes, the farmers, orphans, servants, and peasantry. The wealthy go to balls and have banquets and boast over whether it's better to train one's martial arts (for zombie killing) in Japan or China. What wasn't clear to me is how an economy or even a society can function when the peasants (who pay the taxes and grow the food) are all zombies. Even the wealthy estates were regularly infiltrated by zombies. I think all three of the balls (the type where there is dancing) portrayed in the movie were ended abruptly when zombies attacked. I was confused as to how the zombie outbreak has been going on for years, yet people are so routinely unprepared. They don't post sentries or have patrols or sufficient defenses. Indeed, it's clearly a plot device to get characters moving and interacting and a way to promote the romantic relationships, which instead of being built on witty repartee, are instead cultivated in combat prowess.

Much of the writing felt awkward and forced in the fashion of let's just tack "zombie" on the end of half the lines, it'll probably be fine. The plot was familiar, but left battered by the addition of zombies. The acting was generally adequate, but at times made impossible by absurd writing brought on by the zombie mash-up. The one exception was Matt Smith as Parson Collins, who was not a likable character, but presented an amusing fool who provided delightful contrast to everyone else's serious faces. The end of the movie was the most absurd and disappointing. Right after an aborted battle with the bad guy and a chase by the zombie horde, we find ourselves in a wedding. The end. If you stay past the initial few minutes of credits you are treated to a follow-up scene that basically reminds you "Remember that big bad guy and his zombie horde thing that we never finished up? Well, it's still happening and we aren't going to tell you how it goes." The end (again).

So the point of this movie wasn't the zombies, it was the romance...except the zombie plotline was sooooo much more entertaining than this bullshit forced and awkward romantic storyline that seemed completely dependent on zombies to prop it up. Nope. No thank you. No.