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|The Dawn Of The Dead (2004
First-time director Zack Snyder remakes zombie master
George A. Romero's classic 1978 gore-fest DAWN OF THE DEAD, wisely
replicating only the basic elements of Romero's movie, and instead
sticking to his own vision of a world overrun by undead
flesh-eating creatures. The action begins with nurse Ana (Sarah
Polley) waking up to discover her boyfriend has become a tasty
midnight snack for a formerly cute neighboring kid. To her horror,
she realizes that the whole town is in a similar state of
ghoulishness, until she runs into still-alive cop Kenneth (Ving
Rhames); the levelheaded Michael (Jack Weber); and Andre (Mekhi
Phifer), a rebel with a pregnant wife in tow. As in Romero's
original, the group heads for the local mall where they barricade
themselves inside. More survivors surface, while in the outside
world the zombies go about their day by slowly taking over the
planet. Undeterred by the odds against them, the survivors plot,
scheme, and enjoy their mall paradise. As they plan their escape,
some incredibly gruesome special effects are deployed, often with
a dash of wry humor added for light relief. Placing the messages
from Romero's version--a funny, scary look at consumerist
society--on the back burner, the 2004 version of DAWN OF THE DEAD
instead concentrates on delivering a witty blood-fest. The zombies
appear to have taken their cues from the fast-moving corpses of
Danny Boyle's 28 DAYS LATER, and are generally much more agile
than their 1978 counterparts. Director Snyder gets the balance
between humorous set-pieces and plot development exactly right
throughout, producing an enjoyable remake that can easily hold its
own alongside the deservedly hailed original film.
"Good zombie fun, the remake of George A. Romero's DAWN OF
THE DEAD is the best proof in ages that cannibalizing old material
sometimes works fiendishly well."
"Snyder, making a killer feature debut, trades home-made
cheesiness for knowing style, revels in the sophistication of
modern special effects, and stomps off with the best remake...of a
horror classic in memory."
"From a technical point of view, the new DAWN is slicker
and more polished, and the acting is better, too."
"Snyder comes up with some 'wow' shots....[T]his DEAD is
zippier than 1995's retake on VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED."
"[The film] still delivers a pretty mean bite as a
Theatrical Release: MARCH 19, 2004