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Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016) Movie Review

Updated on November 30, 2019
Noel Penaflor7 profile image

I Wrote my First Movie Review While Giving Birth to a Camera. It has followed me ever since. Please don't mind the Mess.

 
 
Written for the Screen and Directed by
Burr “It’s Cold” Steers, which is an awesome name
Starring
Lilly James, Lebron James, Lena Headey, Lena Dunham, Charles Dance “Off”, Charles Charlie, Sam Riley, Sam Rockwell, more British People, No Black People, Matt Smith
Running Time
7 minutes plus an additional 100 minutes

In case you high school students were wondering, no. You can’t watch Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (to be typed as PPZ from now on because those are way too many letters) and then do a book report on Jane Austen’s corset stuffer Pride and Prejudice thinking you can skate by because the two stories are different as one contains zombies.

I don’t know. Do schools do book reports anymore? From what I read they just specialize in shooting each other.



I remember my HS English teacher called the novel “One of the great works of literature”. I also remember 7 years ago when she died of a brain tumor. Grades don’t really matter.

The reasonably faithful and sufficiently diverting adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith’s low-concept treatment of a book we were forced to read in high school is a movie that breezes by on the first viewing and but will fall apart if you ever choose to watch it again. It’s a movie you feel and have fun with, but don’t try to overanalyze or else you’ll find yourself wanting. Enjoy the empty calories.

If you’re one of those people that navel-gazes over a movie with the word zombies in it, your invitations to things haven’t been lost in the mail.

I read Pride in high school and not really remembering anything because at the time I could just pull a ‘B’ if I reminded my teachers that I was Asian person of Asian descent and if they gave me anything below a ‘B’ I would accuse them of blatant racism and then I would get a ‘B‘ if all my words made sense regardless of the content.

But then I would take that ‘B’ home and then get sent to the barbed wire pen my parents put me in if I got anything less than an A++. Those of you with Asian parents are familiar with the barbed wire pen and its electric doorknob.

I read it again with fresh eyes and found it to be a wonderful story (and by “read it again” I mean watched the 2005 movie with Keira Knightley).

Do you need to be familiar with Austen’s novel to enjoy PPZ? It helps a lot but it’s not totally necessary.

She will share her opinion on Mamma Mia 2
She will share her opinion on Mamma Mia 2

Synopsis

England has been overrun with zombies. Instead of 28 Days Later, PPZ makes it seem like a costume drama episode of Girls.

We’re introduced to the Bennet family. Mr. Bennet (Charles Dance) has 5 daughters and his mission in life is to get them all married before he dies because the Bennets are middle class basic B’s. They need to marry rich so the entire Bennet household can endure.

They’re basic except for Jane Bennet (Bella Heathcote). She’s the “fairest” ( I think that means “hottest“) of the Bennet sisters and the one that has the best chance of landing a rich husband.

Elizabeth Bennet is the 2cnd fairest but she’s the best warrior. She has decidedly modern feminist sensibilities as she don’t need no man to make her complete. She’s trained in the deadly arts but she’s a lot less skilled when it comes to wooing a suitor. That’s okay because she don’t need no man to make her complete.

Now, I remember this part from the novel and I hope I’m recounting this correctly but if I’m not then you can read the book yourself.

This scene is not on the cutting room floor.
This scene is not on the cutting room floor.

A rich guy Mr. Bingley (Douglas “Tanning” Booth) is really into Jane.

Bingley’s wingman Mr./Colonel Darcy (Sam Riley) is kind of a tool with hardly any social skills. But he is adept at finding and killing zombies.Darcy meets Lizzy and they don’t get along. They spend most of the movie/book at each other’s throats. Darcy because of his prejudice and Lizzy because of her pride. Or is it the other way around? I don’t remember.

I’m guessing by the end of the movie they’ll fall in love and fight zombies together. If this is actually spoiling it for you then congratulations on the coma you’ve just awakened from and sorry you’ve never seen a film or read a book. There’s a whole new world awaiting you, just don’t watch any Kevin James movies.

Will the Bennet family survive as a unit as they peddle off all the attractive daughters to easy rich men?
And what about the fact that zombies are finding their way into homes once thought safe? Almost as if someone is letting them in for some reprehensible reason.

What Works With Pride, Prejudice, and Zombies

  • Lily James kicks ass as one literature’s greatest female characters. You get she could play Lizzy in an adaptation that didn’t require kitanas. She’s the only performer that really holds the screen for the entire movie as the rest of the cast flutters at times due to underdevelopment or cut scenes.
  • Girlfight!!!
  • For you Game of Thrones fans, Lena Headey and Charles Dance appear for no real reason other than for you to think about how they were in GOT together. RIP Tywin. You deserved to die. Go Cersei. You’re no more horrible than anyone else on the show.
  • Whenever you feeling your attention drifting and ask yourself “Why am I watching Downton Abbey?“, zombies appear to save the day. Thank goodness.

What Doesn't Work With Pride Prejudice and Zombie

  • Doctor Who’s Matt Smith appears intermittently and sucks the air out of every scene he’s in. As a character, his Parson has the trait of being annoying without actually being funny.
  • The film loses steam in the final act as every twist is telegraphed and every climax uninspired. Again, you’re glad to see the zombies appear.

Despite the corsets, this is not Downton Abbey.
Despite the corsets, this is not Downton Abbey.

Overall

Don’t let your pride or your prejudice against keep you from being entertained by zombie carnage. Take your car for a pride and go the prejudice-tance to the theater. Or see Hail Ceasar!, which is a much better movie.

3 stars for Pride Prejudice and Zombies

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