Film #43: MAGGIE
3 out of 5 stars
Arnold Schwarzenegger spearheads this foray into zombie cinema and, gratefully, doesn’t screw it up (unlike his last horror film, END OF DAYS). Directed by Henry Hobson (who, up till now, was known for his opening sequences to such properties as THE WALKING DEAD) and starring Arnold, Abigail Breslin, and Joely Richardson, MAGGIE is more than your average zombie movie (think THE FAULT IN OUR STARS with zombies). MAGGIE is more about dealing with loss and the film is a quiet contemplation of life, death, and living with the terminally ill. Essentially a mood / character piece, MAGGIE is a bit overwrought at times (virtually every frame exudes sadness) and there are plot holes a mile wide (for instance, the casual attitudes toward universal medical precautions is infuriating), but the acting is across the board solid (especially Arnold and Breslin who form a believable father/daughter dynamic). The film is just a tad too long – even at 93 minutes. It might have made a terrific short or a part of an anthology, but, as it is, things move too slowly. That all said, I do give the film a huge amount of credit for at least TRYING something different with the zombie sub-culture. In the end, MAGGIE is an interesting film notable more for what its intentions were rather than their finished product. Schwarzenegger absolves himself quite well here and, in fact, virtually carries the film. WALKING DEAD (and its ilk) fans may find themselves frustrated, but… if they settle in and realize this is something ELSE, they may enjoy it.