Based very loosely on the classic Jane Austin novel Pride and Prejudice, the film Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is the latest Hollywood concoction looking to merge genres to try and create something new. Unfortunately what they created was a largely forgettable Zombie film, which is unsure of what story it is trying to tell.
It may surprise you to hear that the film follows quite closely to the novel set in 19th Century England, with the odd zombie action sequence shoehorned in.
The film tells the story of Elizabeth Bennett played by Lily James who along with her sisters, has been trained to kill zombies by her father and along the way she must choose a husband to be married to.
Which enters Mr. Darcy played by Sam Riley who is also trained to kill Zombies and takes a liking to Mrs. Bennett. Meanwhile Elizabeth starts getting close to Mr. Wickham played by Jack Huston with the looming Zombie apocalypse a backdrop to this love triangle.
Many comparisons have been made between this film and Abe Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. And in many ways these comparisons are unfair, the films does a far better job of not taking itself too seriously, it is very self aware and a lot of the action scenes come across as very tongue in cheek.
Lily James is great as Elizabeth Bennett and much like in last years Cinderella movie, proves herself to be a superstar in the making as the films leading lady. Her action sequences are great and she does a great job of making you care about her character in this campy far-fetched world.
Matt Smith is also a stand out providing the films comic relief. Smith plays Mr. Collins a distant relative of the Bennetts, who wishes to take Elizabeth’s hand in marriage. Smith shows great comic timing and steals every scene he is in, a real stand out in the whole film.
Unfortunately pacing is what let’s the film down the most. It’s very inconsistent and jarring. The film is unsure on what it wants to be and forgets that it’s supposed to be a zombie film. It just doesn’t feature enough zombies and instead tries to be a retelling of Pride and Prejudice. When the film does decide to bring zombies into it , it goes almost too over the top with action scenes making the transition between the two, too jarring and inconsistent.
Despite a great leading lady and some decent action scenes, the films jarring pacing issues lets it down. The films lack of identity leaves it feeling forgettable and generic.
By Simon Hanson