Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Film Review: Maggie (2015)

Copyright: Lionsgate Films
We didn’t realize it, but a zombie apocalypse is an apparently full of depressive potential. Sure, the plots often grazed depression in these types of films, but mostly while their primary emotions are based on anxiety and the need to stay alive. In Maggie, however, the focus is exclusively on depressive shades of a deadly virus outbreak, which turns people into flesh-craving monsters.

To add to the unexpected weirdness of this idea, the film introduces Arnold Schwarzenegger as Wade, the bewildered father of the main character, a girl called Maggie, who gets infected with the virus and has only weeks before she turns into a zombie. On their secluded farm, father and daughter prepare for the inevitable while Maggie says goodbye to her memories and everything around here.

When Henry Hobson directed this film, I’m certain he wanted to make something original above everything else. He managed to do this, but also to cram some nice melancholic tones in this primarily depressive story about loss and change.

At the same time, I’m sure he enraged many people and will enrage others in the future who will be expecting to see Arnold blowing away zombies. In the film, Schwarzenegger is a quiet, truck-repairing type of guy who is preparing to put his dead daughter into the ground or do something even worse. He runs with this notion neither too badly not exactly excelling in his role. Instead, he does okay, which can be said for the entire movie as well.

Hobson obviously has some ideas and Maggie shows this, but as a whole, it keeps an aura of casual meekness which stops it from making some serious emotional impacts, unlike, for example, The Retrieval, which shares its toned-down narrative approach and bleakness. Abigail Breslin is really sharp as Maggie, but the film somehow is not. It’s good that Hobson did not try to say anything about the genre of zombie movies as a whole and simply drove the plot a personal story. It might not have Schwarzenegger raining destruction, but at least it is trying to destroy our emotions by showing a really horrible few weeks for a single family.