So I just got back from seeing Jim Jarmusch’s The Dead Don’t Die…
The Dead Don’t Die focuses on the inhabitants of the town of Centerville, USA. When the Earth is knocked off its axis due to fracking in the arctic, the dead rise from their graves and start to overrun the town. It is then up to the local police, and the town coroner, to save the day.
While this film is highly flawed, it was super adorable. A funny take on the ideas of George Romero.
Okay script, good characters and performances (An amazing ensemble cast with the likes of Steve Buscemi, Bill Murray, Adam Driver, Tilda Swinton, Tom Waits, and others put on delightfully fun and droll performances, and Iggy Pop made for a great zombie), good cinematography and editing, great score, incredibly funny, etc.
This film, unlike Paterson, actually had conflict, and had a reason for the characters to move forward. And moreover, this film had an amazing attitude of just not giving a single fuck. The fourth wall breaking, the dry and witty dialogue, it threw it all at the wall just to see what stuck. Also, the last battle sequence with Bill Murray and Adam Driver, set to this Tom Waits piece, was badass.
However, like I mentioned, it is a highly flawed movie.
Firstly, the pacing is kind of bad. There are scenes in this movie that just didn’t advance the story at all, and easily could have been cut from the film. It wasn’t until night time hit in the movie that it clipped along more nicely.
Secondly, some of the political and societal satire in the movie was really obnoxious. A couple bits were okay, but the MAGA hat, the environmentalist thing with the fracking, and really over explaining Romero’s ideas was not all that funny
Overall, I’m beginning to think Jarmusch has a bit of a problem with style over substance. His technical elements and overall ideas are really neat, but he seems to not know how to execute. Again, I’m not discarding Jarmusch, I know he has a banger or two in him, but this one ain’t it. If you’re a fan of Jim Jarmusch, give this a go, you’ll get a ton of enjoyment out of it. But otherwise, I wasn’t enamoured with it.
5.5 out of 10 (Maybe a 6 because it’s so fun and unique)