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So as you know, I stopped writing lengthy reviews on this site this year, keeping the blog as more of a film diary of sorts.  Lo and behold,...

Sunday, May 08, 2016

Movie Review - Maggie

Maggie (2015)
Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Abigail Breslin, and Joely Richardson
Directed by Henry Hobson
***This film is currently available via Amazon Prime***

In Maggie, America is facing the ravages of "The Turn," a pandemic ravaging the country that causes those infected to gradually over a six-to-eight week period of time devolve into zombies.  However, during those two months after being bitten, the lives of the infected are somewhat normal and most of them continue to live at home with their families.  That's the case for teenager Maggie (Abigail Breslin) who, after becoming infected, returns to live at home on the farm with her dad Wade (Arnold Schwarzengger), stepmom Caroline (Joely Richardson), and two step-siblings.  Wade and Maggie face the inevitable as the weeks progress with both realizing that they're going to be tasked with difficult decisions in order to save the lives of those they love.

Maggie is undoubtedly a different kind of zombie movie.  It's certainly a slow burn with admittedly little happening throughout its run time.  A character piece, first-time director Henry Hobson's film is low on plot, but high on showcasing the relationship between a father and daughter, both of whom love each other, but recognize that a huge sacrifice is ahead of them.

In perhaps his most understated and most dramatic role yet, Arnold Schwarzenegger eschews the machismo that we've come to expect and admirably tackles being a sensitive, caring father.  His Wade is a man of few words, but Schwarzenegger absolutely captivates here, telling us a lot of what we need to know through his sullen demeanor and tired eyes.  Breslin doesn't quite fare so well at first, but as the film progresses and Maggie's situation becomes more dire, we finally get some emotional struggle in her character which helps to endear her to us in the audience.

Maggie has its issues -- the biggest being that despite only being ninety minutes, it feels a bit draggy particularly in the opening half -- but it's intriguing nonetheless simply for presenting a dramatic view of an extremely popular sub genre.  It's certainly not going to be everyone's cup of tea, but it has its moments and it proves that Schwarzenegger actually can act.

The RyMickey Rating:  B-

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