The Crazies (2010)

The Crazies

*. Not bad, but it doesn’t bring anything new to the table. It’s a slicker production than the original, but leaves some important elements out and becomes more and more conventional as it rumbles along. Not only that, but the basic premise seems even less credible than it did forty years ago.
*. As I’ve said many times before, if you’re not going to reimagine or reinvent a film in some significant way, then there’s no point remaking it.
*. It’s too bad that the idea that you can’t tell who has the virus and who doesn’t, which Romero wanted to develop more but didn’t, gets no play here. Instead, the crazies are easily identified by their progressively more grotesque makeup.
*. It moves along at a good pace. Which is to say, quickly. This is mainly because it doesn’t have to explain what’s going on. After all, even if you haven’t seen the earlier version, you know the drill by now. We’re in zombie apocalypse country, right down to a trip to the morgue.
*. The morgue scene is one of a series of set pieces the film is built around. The circular blade chasing after Timothy Olyphant’s cock is good. But this is one of the very few bits of business that is effective.
*. Sticking with the morgue for just a bit, whatever happens to the guy whose lips and eyelids were sewn together? He was still alive, but there’s no mention of him after they kill the crazy doctor. Did they rescue him or just leave him there?
*. The car wash scene strikes me as one of those ideas that someone thought would be interesting, but which really doesn’t make any sense at all. Why would there be a car wash out in the middle of nowhere? Why would the crazies be hanging out in a car wash in the middle of nowhere waiting to ambush someone when there are no cars left on the road? And why are our heroes so badly prepared to deal with the situation even after it’s clear that they have been ambushed?
*. Is this supposed to be Iowa? Why do the lake scenes look like a Louisiana bayou? I guess because part of the film was shot in Georgia.
*. Sigh. Even when the power gets shut down and all the lights go off, one light has to stay on, albeit flickering. Damn that cliché.
*. Given that the government has the whole area under satellite surveillance, with helicopters flying all over it, how the hell do our heroes manage to just wander through open fields and empty highways most of the movie without being noticed?
*. If the authorities wanted to stop anyone from driving away, wouldn’t it have been easier to just blow all the vehicles up instead of booting every single one?
*. Nothing against Radha Mitchell, but Judy is a very poorly written part. I didn’t understand the constant bickering. Not to mention all the idiot-plot stuff and sudden scares. Look out, someone’s behind you! Damn that cliché.

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