After Dawn of the Dead’s reboot a few years back it must have been a good idea to start trawling through George Romero’s back catalogue, and to be fair this re-make of The Crazies has plenty of social commentary to make as well as providing a few chills and spills.
So we are back in the familiar territory of small town America. The locals go about their business, and the young local sheriff is leading a happy existence with his newly pregnant wife. That is until one of the locals decides to turn up at a baseball game with a shotgun. From here on in things turn sour as locals start losing their minds left and right. Acts of violence become widespread and eventually bigger forces are called in to, um, “take care” of the situation.
What is amazing is the pace of the film – as it fools you into thinking that it is going to be a real slow burner from start to end, but all too soon after problems start to happen and the locals are losing their minds do the military show up and push the second act rolling a lot faster.
Leading man Timothy Olyphant who generally is a great actor, but not a great star. Cast him as a hero or a villain and he tends to amp it up far too much. Cast him on stage in a proper dramatic role and he’ll blow you away. Thankfully here, there is enough balance to keep him on the straight and narrow. Occasionally the script calls for him to say something daft – but thankfully the dialogue has been worked to a level that keeps it all real.
The film is ably directed, but does eventually fall into computer generated territory right at the end. It isn’t something to get too upset about – considering what they had to pull off – but at the same time it doesn’t improve the excitement to bombast us with cliché. Thankfully, these are closing moments – the rest of the film is served very well and retains a strong message.
The Crazies is out now on Blu-ray and DVD from Momentum Pictures