‘Maggie’ is a story about Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Wade Vogel coming to terms with his daughter succumbing to a zombie virus.
I’m a big fan of Zombie films, TV and zombies in general thus the prospect of Arnie doing a subdued indie sensibility zombie film was an intriguing one. Unfortunately this film fails to conjure up anything that could prove memorable alongside others of it’s genre. It’s definitely not a Romero, it’s closer to the fairly unassuming ‘Warm Bodies’ of a couple of years ago. Maybe its my taste, after all what I love most about the zombie genre is the initial panic and realization at the start of films such as ‘Dawn of the Dead’, ‘Shaun of the Dead’ or even ‘Rec’. Then again there have been others that have equally kept my interest that don’t have that.
It’s a problem then that ‘Maggie’ is, on it’s terms, problematic. First of all its dull, which is a shame and second of all it’s directed with an attempt at interesting and arty but doesn’t do anything of any great originality. The film is incredibly dark, and I mean literally, there is grim greyness permeating every inch of this film which makes it, with the darkness, nearly impossible to see anything. Director Henry Hobson doesn’t get much of a good performance from Schwarzenegger, apart from a subdued stare and extra mumbling which tends to make him hard to understand. It’s not much better for Abigail Breslin whose role as the titular Maggie doesn’t stretch her, instead acting like a character from a different film and lacking depth.
I don’t fault this to her or Schwarzenegger but with a script this low key and direction that doesn’t show the material in an interesting way, it’s left up to them to carry it, which they don’t. Every so often the film does something that makes you cringe or is only something a B movie would do, which ends up making the film feel muddled. Then it ends on a whimper, with no great emotional pay off and frank and sudden, is that it?
There’s a good idea here and Schwarzenegger looks great in the role but it never becomes interesting enough to hold my attention. The cinematography is flat and bizarre (shots drift aimlessly), the music comes and goes forgettably and even though its the central conceit of the film, you don’t believe that this father and daughter actually care that much. All in all, It’s not a film that has an ounce of re-watch value.
Rating: C 4/10