Maggie (2015)

An Arnold Schwarzenegger movie about the zombie apocalypse. If this was the 1990's or 2000's, they'd have hit pay dirt. Instead, they decided to make an incredibly slow drama about Arnold's daughter (played by Abigail Breslin) slowly turning into a zombie. For some reason, society has not ground to a halt, and it's not really clear how the disease has been spreading (aside from getting bit and - oddly - corn crops).

So, this isn't really about the virus, the apocalypse, or even survival among the undead. Instead, it's about a father coming to grips with the mortality of his children and the inevitable failure he will suffer when trying to protect her from the inexorable force of death that the virus represents.

We find out that all of the infected are usually quarantined, but Arnold calls in favors to get his daughter home. We don't know what those favors are or why everyone seems to have such a high opinion of Anrold, but they do, and let's just all accept it. I mean, he's Arnold, for crying out loud. I kept thinking that this would be the chance to see if Arnold has developed any significant acting chops. You can't say he hasn't gotten better at acting over the years (I mean, he wasn't going to get worse), and a non-action role with a lot of emotion like having to watch his daughter die would certainly be among the best to highlight what he's learned.

Abigail is as complicated in this role as any teenaged girl. She rebels against rules, she tries to ignore reality, and she wants to hang out with her friends. She's very clearly a daddy's girl (with her mother having died a while ago and Arnold remarrying Joely Richardson as Abigail's stepmother). Even her siblings are fairly inconsequential aside from engaging her in conversations as a form of exposition.

I can't help but think that this would have been a much better movie if it had been an action movie. Yes, Arnold is a little past his prime for action, but that doesn't make it impossible, and it would have added a lot of interest in general to the film. As it was, it was like watching a plant die from not being watered.

Direction was okay
Acting was good
Dialog was pretty weak
Script was weak
Effects were okay

Bottom Line: Like a lot late-life Arnold movies, it had promise, and it fell well short.

1.5/5

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