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Dawn of the Dead

A movie directed by Zack Snyder

< read all 8 reviews

A thrilling tale that will entertain fans old and new.

  • Mar 18, 2004
Rating:
+1
Pros: Some nice thrills and dark humor.

Cons: Drags in the middle nothing great in the acting area.

The Bottom Line: A good update on the original.

For many people the routine of everyday life is something that is often taken for granted. Today, the demands on a persons time are at al all time high, as there is often less time to relax and enjoy the many finer things in life.

In the film Dawn of the Dead audiences are shown a horrific vision of a world turned upside down where the routines and securities of life are but a distant memory.
For Ana (Sarah Polley), her life is a busy but comfortable existence. When Ana is not working as a nurse at a local Hospital, she is a loving wife to her adoring Husband and is very much the model of suburban tranquility as she has a routine and is very happy in it.

That all changes one morning when Ana awakens and finds a neighbor attacking her husband who in turn attacks Ana forcing her to flee. Her once peaceful and comfortable suburb has now become a mass of blood and carnage as an army of bloodthirsty crazies has descended upon her town leaving a path of death and destruction in their wake.
Ana soon encounters survivors who tell her that the roads and access points to the town are filled with the walking dead who are unstoppable as they are voracious. The survivors are lead by Officer Kenneth (Ving Rhames), who has lost his family in the recent events and wants to locate his brother at a nearby military base. The need for shelter is accelerated by the late term pregnancy of a survivor named Luda (Inna Korobkina), so her husband Andre (Mekhi Phifer), leads the group into a nearby mall where they plan to secure themselves until help can arrive.

Once in the mall, the group encounters three security guards whose leader CJ (Michael Kelly) is less than happy to be including strangers into their sanctuary. The groups eventually combine and suspicions and power struggles soon arise and are exacerbated when more survivors arrive.

The group stays in touch with the happenings in the world around them by watching televisions and soon realizes that help is not coming anytime soon if at all. Thanks to a well-stocked food court, the group is able to stay in the mall for the long term but with more and more of the living dead arriving outside the mall the options are becoming fewer and fewer.

It is soon learned that the bite of the living dead is fatal and that those who die without being consumed by the horde, soon emerge as a member of the horde allowing the zombies to reproduce at an amazing rate. This is not good news for the survivors as they are soon faced to take on the zombies for their very survival and in the process descend into the very depths of hell itself.

Based on a script by James Gunn and directed by first time film director Zack Snyder, “Dawn of the Dead” is a surprisingly entertaining update of the 1975 classic that mixes dark humor and action to create a mostly satisfying film.

Gunn wisely avoided copying the original films events, as the only real similarity is the survivors taking refuge in a mall. Instead the film is an interesting look at consumerism and suburban routine and the madness that ensues when order and society come undone. Like last years 㦈 Days Later”, the film stresses how quickly society can be disrupted by unforeseen events and how many of us take the comforts and securities we have for granted.

The ensemble cast works well with the script though many are simply in the film as fodder. The story uses the characters to represent a society, as there are examples from all walks of life and backgrounds. Emphasis is not put into developing the characters; it is placed on developing the action and maintaining the story and setting. In this regard the film succeeds well as it is entertaining and action filled. The story does drag towards the middle of the film but concludes with a rousing finale that had the audience cheering loudly at my press screening. I especially liked the cameos from three of the people involved with the original and some of the references to the original. If you are a fan of the original or like horror then “Dawn of the Dead’ is what you have been waiting for.

3.5 stars out of 5

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More Dawn of the Dead reviews
review by . October 09, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
*** out of ****     As much as I love the original source material, Zack Snyder's 2004 remake of "Dawn of the Dead", a George Romero zombie horror classic, is actually a pretty respectable movie. Unlike most horror remakes these days, it follows its own path; and comes out its own movie, which was nice. This is the only kind of remake of Romero's film that I could have ever enjoyed. It's not as good as the 1978 film that inspired its existence, but in its own little way, it gives …
review by . April 01, 2008
Dawn of the dead
I love zombie movies, and this is the best one among them.  The characters are trapped in a mall where there are tens of thousands of zombies outside, and they have a shoot a zombie celebrity look-alike game, what's not to love about this movie!
review by . May 01, 2009
Dawn of the Dead is pretty good. I was very surprised when I saw this movie. I have to say that I was very impressed. The script by James Gunn and the direction was on par with the original. Ving Rhames was the man. He played his role quite well and was creditable as the tough cop. The set pieces were up to snuff and the gore effects were excellent.    A strange mutation has quickly spread across the land. It hit so fast and so hard that nobody was prepared for what was to come. …
review by . February 28, 2009
In WWII, a German tank commander noted, in regards to the American Sherman tank, "You could knock out 10 of them, but there would always be an eleventh one there." That's akin to the predicament faced by the human survivors in Zack Snyder's remake of George Romero's 1979 Dawn of the Dead; you can have all the guns, ammo, and provisions you need, and shoot one zombie, two zombies, a dozen zombies, but what about the hundredth? The thousandth? The five thousandth? Snyder's audacious treatment of this …
review by . June 29, 2006
posted in Movie Hype
I had seen this movie a couple of times and it's just great. The plot is pretty straightforward, even though it relies mostly on cliché themes to move the story along. So as a rule, most films such as this tend to be predictable and quite tepid. Luckily, `Dawn of the Dead' has strong personalities to fall back on, making it thankfully every bit a character-driven drama as it is a horror-action piece.    Sarah Polley convincingly plays a waif turned survivor with just the right …
About the reviewer
Gareth Von Kallenbach ()
Ranked #38
I am a syndicated movie & game critic, writer, author and frequent radio guest. My work has appeared in over 60 publications worldwide and he is the creator of the rising entertainment site "Skewed … more
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First-time director Zack Snyder remakes zombie master George A. Romero's classic 1978 gore-fest DAWN OF THE DEAD, wisely replicating only the basic elements of Romero's movie, instead sticking to his own vision of a world overrun by undead flesh-eating creatures. The action begins with nurse Ana (Sarah Polley) waking up to discover her boyfriend has become a tasty midnight snack for a formerly cute neighboring kid. To her horror, she realizes that the whole town is in a similar state of ghoulishness, until she runs into still-alive cop Kenneth (Ving Rhames); the levelheaded Michael (Jack Weber); and Andre (Mekhi Phifer), a rebel with a pregnant wife in tow. As in Romero's original, the group heads for the local mall where they barricade themselves inside. More survivors surface, while in the outside world the zombies go about their day by slowly taking over the planet. Undeterred by the odds against them, the survivors plot, scheme, and enjoy their mall paradise. As they plan their escape, some incredibl...
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