Projections - Movie Reviews
With Jim Sabatini

The Crazies

The Crazies
Timothy Olyphant, Radha Mitchell and Joe Anderson

Rated: R for bloody violence and language
Reviewed by: Jim  
Release date: February 26, 2010 Released by: Overture Films

George A. Romero's 1973 B-movie frightfest is given an interesting visceral reboot that is a little better and more fun than the average "zombie" film.

The Crazies stars Timothy Olyphant, Radha Mitchell, and Joe Anderson, and is a bit overstuffed on the narrative end as it is set in a small Iowa farming community, Ogden Nash.

Olyphant's David is the sheriff and Mitchell is his pregnant doctor wife Judy witnessing the strangeness of the townspeople who are wildly lashing out among themselves. David and his deputy (Anderson) come upon the oddity of a nearby crashed aircraft before government representatives round up and segregate the denizens based on their physical condition. Afterwards, however, things aren't contained like it appears to be.

Some may like the helming of Breck Eisner who obviously may have drawn from the tension in the Dawn of the Dead remake by Zack Snyder (even through the explanatory endcredits newscast), though in essence is nothing new in the genre. If the storyline leaps with corny preposterousness like some of the loonies who've ingested the contaminated water supply, there's often an unsettling spark to the mayhem and any sort of intended meaningful metaphors.

Unlike the languishing, talky Legion the main characters are more fully fleshed out as fighting is the only way out of the plague and the all-out war ignited by the military. The Crazies has a cycling, schematic quality to its insanity and mayhem with an impending haunting feeling that works amid the lurid unpleasantness.

Of course, for the desired demographic there is plenty of unexpected jolts with a maniacal glee with plenty of weaponry and conflagrations. The grisliness extends to the overwhelming carnage with a production which allows for the make-up work for the infected to stand out as they are out to terrorize those they once liked. The Crazies relies on its direction, as the main threesome are sympathetic enough that one is on edge, especially when Judy is on a gurney. Even if isn't going for any nuance or any dark, ironic wit around all of the extreme sudden death is just accidental by nature.

  Frank Chris Jim Nina Sam Howard Jennifer Kathleen  Avg. 
The Crazies  C      C+      B+            C+ 

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