Monday, March 13, 2017

Do Zey Zerve Zima?

While I would never argue its merits as a piece of high art, I'll go on record as saying Jurassic World was one of the funnest movie theater experiences I've ever had.

So why would I not watch what can essentially be called a remake with the dinosaurs recast as zombies?

Quick Plot:
10 years after a major zombie outbreak, the last remnants of the living dead are stored at an exotic, isolated island where wealthy guests drop big bucks to play zombie paintball (without the paint). On this particular excursion, we follow a young woman named Melanie, who decides that killing the undead might be the only way to finally get over her childhood trauma of watching her father turn. Accompanying her is Lewis, her loyal boyfriend who had some serious military experience during the zombie wars of the past.

Also in Melanie's group is a pair of teenage gamers, a jilted bride with a few secrets, and Dougray Scott--

Yes, in case you didn't know, referencing Dougray Scott legally requires me to go on an extended aside about the greatness of Ever After.
Seriously, how good is Ever After?

Drew Barrymore as a likable, strong-willed young woman not willing to let a prince decide her fate, cute old people being sweet and cute in a cute old people kind of way, Angelica Huston in some form of Renaissance drag flirting mercilessly with Toby Jones as a dwarf...


Back to The Rezort. Just in case you couldn't figure it out from the line, "Jurassic World with zombies," allow me to say, this is Jurassic World with zombies. A security breach causes the typical flesh-eating chaos, forcing our gaggle to reach an exit point before the park's security doomsday plan takes effect, leveling the island before the contagion spreads to the mainland.

Obviously, this is a great idea for a film. Directed by Steve Barker from a script by Paul Gerstenberger, The Rezort isn't quite game-changing, but it sure is fun. You get the typical setups of crass businessmen trying to impress their Asian clients and trigger-happy teenagers overstaying their welcome, but deep character insight isn's always a requirement in dinosaurs-loose-in-the- 

er, I mean zombie theme park movies. 

Actually, in its brief 90 minute running time, The Rezort manages to cram far more heavy social themes than your usual pterodactyl-filled flick, with a final act reveal that makes some surprisingly timely and frightening observations on the refugee crisis.  Take THAT, Bryce Dallas Howard's high heels!

High Points
Maybe I've just been a tad worn down by some recent low budget watches, but it just felt nice to see some good-looking zombies tearing into their prey without overly pixelated CGI blood spurts 

Low Points
While I very much appreciated the opening newsreel that perfectly set up The Rezort's universe, there did seem to be some pieces missing. We don't learn enough about the park's mastermind to have the right kind of anger called for later in the film, and with its brief running time, it certainly feels like we could have had more

Title Points
I was all set to make a pointed joke about using a "Z" for an "S" in the title of a zombie film, but The Rezort might be the exception to the rule that, well, using a "Z" for an "S" in the title of a zombie film rendering it immediately terrible

Lessons Learned
If you are female and your morality is put into question, the solution to any accusation is simply, "I'm a businesswoman" 

Every apocalypse deserves an after party

In the near future, thumb drives will be fully waterproof

Zombie films are as ubiquitous these days as The Walking Dead t-shirts, but The Rezort gets my recommendation. The production values are high, the effects look good, the cast is able, and the setup lends plenty of fun. For a good 90 minutes of tourists-in-turmoil, this is the trip. 

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