In theaters this Friday from writer-director Burr Steers, Screen Gems and Lionsgate comes the tale that brings us back to 19th century England to face “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.”
The Bennet family is living during an unusual time as zombies have become a way of life in England. Each of the Bennet daughters, Elizabeth (Lily James), Jane (Bella Heathcote), Lydia (Ellie Bamber), Mary (Millie Brady) and Kitty (Suki Waterhouse) have been trained in the Chinese art of war. Guided by their father Mr. Bennet (Charles Dance), the women are lovely, refined and lethal!
But there mother Mrs. Bennet (Sally Phillips) is more than determined that it is time to find husbands for all of their daughters. At a social gathering, Jane is smitten with Mr. Bingley (Douglas Booth), a handsome young man who comes from a family of means. Elizabeth takes notice of Mr. Darcy (Sam Riley) and he of her but there is an obvious discomfort by them both.
Jane and Mr. Bingley make it a point to see one another again and during a walk Elizabeth meets George Wickham (Jack Huston). Mr. Darcy sees the two together and is not happy in the slightest which delights Elizabeth. When Mr. Bingley decides to throw a big ball, the entire Bennet family is thrilled and it’s dress up time. The thing is, when these girls dress up – it includes weaponry!
After a few twirls on the dance floor, Elizabeth finds herself outside and within minutes a zombie stands in front of her which made not seem odd considering the times, except this one spoke!
But no time for that as Parson Collins (Matt Smith) has come calling looking to ask for Jane’s hand. When told the news that she is unavailable, Collins turns towards Elizabeth. When that doesn’t work he turns towards Mary and with that Collins insists they go and meet with Lady Catherine de Bourgh (Lena Headey). Lady Catherine has made a name for herself in her own fighting skills and is intrigued by Elizabeth.
Well, the zombies are still coming, Elizabeth detests Mr. Darcy, Collins wants a wife, Jane’s heart is broken and did I mention zombies are coming?
It’s all in the life of 19th century England!
James as Elizabeth doesn’t waste any time letting the viewer know who she is and what she’s about. Keeping her manners, James has a unique way of delivering a line that is dripping with sweetness with mixed with a little shot of heat as well.
Riley as Mr. Darcy is dark and scary from moment one. Of course his heart is a little confused because anything nice that would escape his lips comes out completely wrong. He doesn’t say what he means and when he does speak Elizabeth jumps on it so quick he’s taken back. That is exactly what I would expect of anyone who plays Mr. Darcy but Riley gives it even more since he has to fight the zombie herd of London!
Heathcote as Jane is sweet and fully ready to become a wife, especially the wife of Bingley. It’s when things don’t go as planned that Jane’s heart is broken. Booth as Bingley is the source of that broken heart but let’s be honest, it looks like his heart is pretty broke up as well. So who is responsible? One guess.
Huston as Wickham is a soldier who has a plan for the zombie over run. He has taken an interest in Elizabeth and she thinks he’s alright as well. We all know she’s only trying to make Mr. Darcy jealous but is there more to these two men than meets the eye? Headey as Lady Catherine is cool, calm, collected and even a tad bit funny. It’s not hard to believe that she could pull this off considering in the last season of “Game of Thrones” she walked naked while having vegetables thrown at her. I’m sure she had some anger issues to work out and the added toughness of the eye-patch is pretty cool.
Smith as Parson Collins is so hysterical I can’t stand it. Every time he was on the screen everyone was in stitches. He definitely is the odd man out yet every sentence he speaks just made my jaw drop – followed by serious laughing. Yes, Smith sort of stole the show.
Bamber, Brady, and Waterhouse are sister’s I’m sure I’d like to have around if zombies were every five feet. They are sweet at the same time which makes me want to root for them to find love. Dance as Mr. Bennet is so supportive of Elizabeth’s determination to find love on her terms, besides, Dance can do no wrong as far as I’m concerned. Phillips as Mrs. Bennet is just a riot plain and simple and if you don’t adore Phillips we just can’t be friends.
Other cast include: Emma Greenwell as Caroline Bingley, Eva Bell as Louisa, Aisling Loftus as Charlotte, Charlie Anson as Mr. Hurst, Tom Lorcan as Lt. Denny, Nicholas Murchie as Franklin, Morfydd Clark as Georgiana, Dolly Wells as Mrs. Featherstone, Hermoine Corfield as Cassandra and Pooky Quesnel as Mrs. Phillips.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” four tubs of popcorn out of five. I swear I just had a blast with this film. Of course the Jane Austen story is there and I appreciated every moment of it. That being said with the addition of the zombie tension the story become more fun and entertaining. This film isn’t a total zombie take over but instead has them as another character in the film.
The cinematography is pretty awesome and I have to say that they went above and beyond with costuming. The dresses are spectacularly beautiful and the sets are extraordinary. There is such beauty in the lavish time of the 19th century up against the humble living of the Bennet family. I enjoyed the tale of love mixed with zombies without the little flesh eaters taking over entirely. It’s just an enjoyable film that I really do want to see again!
In the end — for love and for family everyone must fight!