George A Romero’s Land Of The Dead

aka LAND OF THE DEAD

Movie Review by Almiro Jorge

Starring: Simon Baker, John Leguizamo, Dennis Hopper, Asia Argento
Director: George A. Romero

The dead walk again and this time they can think…

Observing the walking dead, Riley (Simon Baker) realises that they have acquired a sort of intelligence and have started to imitate the living. Riley is the leader of a group of men that have been contracted to retrieve supplies from the doomed city by a tycoon who makes his fortune from his exclusive tower in the middle of the city. Fiddler’s Green is a barricaded citadel, exclusively for the wealthy, which stands out above the rest of the buildings, guarded by an army and electrical fencing to keep out the dead. Kaufman (Dennis Hopper) rules his sanctuary and the surrounding area with an iron fist.

This will be the last supply run for Riley and his second-in-command, Cholo (John Leguizamo). Riley has decided to live up north, and Cholo wants to buy himself a place in the Fiddler. Kaufman has different ideas for the two of them since they are invaluable to his fortune making. Chaos befalls the fortress when Cholo is refused a place in the tower and steals an armoured vehicle to hold Kaufman to ransom. The zombies make their way across the city towards the bright lights of the high-rise.

George A Romero returns to his beloved subject of zombies in this, his fourth instalment to the big screen. It all started in 1968 with the low budget production NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, with which Romero created the genre and acquired a huge following. He showed his authority in the genre by chasing it up with DAWN OF THE DEAD and DAY OF THE DEAD.

Twenty years later, Romero is back with…

Five times the amount of cash and a not half-bad film. Killing his zombies and exploding buildings in all-new exciting ways (made possible by visual effects that were not possible two decades ago) is really the highlight. The script feels doubtful at times, making it feel like a bad futuristic film, but some great humour by Dennis Hopper revives it. His lines “We don’t deal with terrorists!” and “In a world where the dead are returning to life, the word “trouble” loses much of its meaning” are just two of the classic one-liners in the film.

As for the acting itself, it is Hopper who steals the deal as John Leguizamo falls short on his heels as the volatile Cholo in another one of his interesting parts. Simon Baker isn’t brilliant in his role of the calm and sane Riley and Asia Argento adds a pretty face to the dreary deathly surroundings.

GEORGE A ROMERO’S LAND OF THE DEAD is not scary so much as it is funny. I can describe it as an intriguing humour and gore mix for zombie lovers. Romero fans will be very excited by this instalment but it will probably not deliver as much as the previous three. The script must have chosen the short straw to the striking imagery in most of the film as it atones itself with lovely metaphors.

If you are a George A Romero fan you will not be disappointed by the zombies in this film and if you don’t know him just expect to see a lot of blood and gore.

4 out of 6 stars

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