Jane Austen is the latest to undergo the Seth Grahame-Smith treatment after Abraham Lincoln’s history was rewritten with vampires. But, instead of bloodsuckers, Elizabeth Bennet & co. are faced with the undead horde. The results aren’t as fun as that sounds, I’m afraid. The Pride and Prejudice bits work better than the zombies ones, but I’m passed caring about Austen’s over-told tale.
The cast is hardly short of talent, and they seem committed throughout, but they’re left fighting against Burr Steers script. Matt Smith has fun as the bumbly Mr. Collins (more fun than us, I might add), Jack Huston is all charm as Lt. George Wickham and Sally Phillips is amusing as the over-eager daughter-dealer Mrs. Bennet. Lily James is also solid in the lead role and she has the necessarily sass to pull off this bizarro Austen figurehead. That’s not to mention Charles Dance, Sam Riley and the other classy names.
But, Steers’ writing is just too boring to ever grant them much to do. He instills (presumably as does Grahame-Smith) a welcome feminist streak, dialing up Austen’s work with swords and smoking muskets. It works, at times, but the corsets and garters seem to confuse the message somewhat.
Talented cast and a funky pop-up book history lesson sequence aside, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies simply doesn’t work. Steers never fully wrangles the mashup, and we’re just left with boring schlock.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is out now on Digital Download, DVD, Blu-Ray & VOD.
Screener and images courtesy of Fetch Publicity.