I went to see the movie Pride and Prejudice and Zombies tonight. In case you haven't already guessed at this point, I'm going to tell you how I felt about it. I'll do my best to try and avoid any big spoilers for those who are going to go and see it, but it probably won't be entirely possible.
If you want to be sure to avoid any kind of spoilers, stop reading now!
I think I've made myself clear.
The movie was fun. Was it spectacular, or even what I was expecting? No. No it was not.
I love Jane Austen, but I am by no means a purist about her books. Pride and Prejudice is a great story because the core of it is so strong that you can still successfully adapt it and change it. Human nature is human nature, no matter what time period. You can set it in the modern day and it would translate. You can even add zombies and it will work. I really enjoyed the novel version of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith. Heck, I even read the graphic novel version as well. It still made sense even with zombie and ninja skills added in. (I'm going to refer to the movie and book of the same title as PPZ from now on, as I am already getting tired of typing the whole thing out every time.)
Now we are going to discuss the movie, Friends. If you ignored my earlier warning, then you really need to stop reading now before I potentially ruin it for you.
Still reading? It's your own fault from here on out.
I thought the actors were great. The zombie make-up and effects were well done. If you're squeamish about the potential of lots of blood and gore? You don't need to worry. There really is not all that much of it, which would be a con if you were going into this thinking, "at least I'll get some good zombie violence." No, you really won't.
My biggest problem with the movie is the plot. I'm not talking about changes from the original Pride & Prejudice by Austen either -- that still manages to echo through. I'm talking about changes from the book version of PPZ.
When they say at the beginning that it is based on the novel, they are not kidding. It is really loosely based on that book. There might actually be more of the original book in the movie than the PPZ book.
Two of my favorite bits of the novel-version were left out entirely.
1) The ridiculous idea that zombies could confuse cauliflower with brains. I loved that part of the book, and if you accepted the fact that the zombies (also called "unmentionables", "dreadfuls" and "stricken") were dumb enough to fall for that ploy then it actually worked. It kind of made sense as a readily-available means of protection. It was just silly. It kind of set the tone for how the book was going to go.
2) Charlotte Lucas. Her whole plot line is pretty much non-existent in the movie version. Just wiped away after her purpose is served in getting Elizabeth to meet Lady Catherine. I was really sad that it wasn't included. Mr. Collins is probably happy bout it though, as it changed his role as well.
What was there was a hot mess and a lot of things that were not in the book at all. The least spoilery (is that a word? It is now.) way to describe it is to focus on one character.
Wickham. What the f%^k was up with that plot line? Wickham and the gentlemen with the top hats. I'm really trying to keep this as vague as possible so as not to ruin it for anyone -- even though they obviously cannot follow directions if they are still reading at this point. That was ridiculous. The novel version of PPZ gave him a much more fitting end. I was with it up to a point. I was willing to go with it and see where it was headed. The Big Reveal just wasn't big. It was kind of obvious. I'm pretty sure the point of the entire thing was to have an excuse to blow shit up, and have some epic zombie battle. Except there really wasn't an epic zombie battle. Don't even get me started on the bit at the very end with the credits. That was asinine. Way to jump the freaking shark. I sincerely hope that was not meant to lead up to a sequel.
Was it a fun movie? Yeah. I could have waited to see it on Netflix or dvd and would have enjoyed it just as much. It had a couple humorous moments -- they still got Mr. Darcy to go swimming in a pond. In my opinion, it failed to find the weird parody humor of the book. It tried too hard to be a serious zombie movie, and then it didn't really deliver on that.
That's just my opinion, Friends. Feel free to disagree with me. By all means go see the movie if you wish. I'm not trying to stop you. Maybe you'll feel the opposite and think it is the most awesome thing you have ever seen.