I know that there are some reviewers who relish the ability
to rip into a film that they didn’t like. They may feel that the monopolisation
of their time was a waste, that the filmmaker insulted them for making them sit
through two hours of tedium, and as such, they wish to tear that filmmaker down
completely. I personally don’t enjoy writing a negative review, and I certainly
frown upon the glee that many reviewers get from slamming something that they
would likely not have the talent or skill to create.
With that in mind, I have a review written in my mind for Jim Jarmusch’s The Dead Don’t Die that burns it to the ground. But, I’m not going to write that review. No, I’m going to attempt to take the higher ground and attempt to respectfully look down on this film.
Indie filmmaker Jim Jarmusch has long worked in the realm of
the odd, and over the decades, he’s crafted a style of comedy that is best
described as drought laden deadpan. In fact, his comedy is so dry, and so
deadpan, that it makes perfect sense that the zombies in this climate-change
conscious comedy-horror fare turn to dust when they’re slaughtered.
The plot is as simple as a this: a small town in nowhere America finds themselves at the centre of a zombie outbreak after the planet is thrown off its axis due to mining in the Arctic and Antarctica. Jarmusch uses this as a chance to make some kind of vague, hand waving comment on climate change, but it’s a very non-committal comment.
It’s clear Jarmusch is more interested in spending time with
his routine actor friends, given the cast is made up of Jarmusch regulars –
Bill Murray, Tom Waits, RZA, Iggy Pop, Tilda Swinton –, and a few occasional
repeat offenders – Adam Driver, Steve Buscemi -, while a few other actors get
to boost their indie cred by appearing here – Caleb Landry Jones and Selena
Gomez. As with many other Jarmusch ensemble events, The Dead Don’t Die is more about a group of actor friends putting
on a theme-driven vaudeville show. The only trouble is that it’s not very
entertaining, and it’s not very interesting, and there’s really not much
worthwhile to say here.
I have long felt that I’d watch Adam Driver in anything, but
this film makes me question that. Alongside Tilda Swinton, they are the only
things worthwhile in this sleep-driven affair. There is a vague attempt at
making a meta-comedy, like when Adam Driver’s police officer mentions that the
song on the radio – Sturgill Simpson’s “The Dead Don’t Die” – is the theme song
to the film, but it all amounts to nothing.
Jarmusch diehards will lap this up, but for everyone else, you’ll struggle to find anything worthwhile over its runtime. There is certainly a lot more negative things I could say about this film, but you know what? It’s not worth the energy, space, or time. And maybe that’s the worst thing you could say about The Dead Don’t Die: it’s so inept and boring that it’s not even worth the time spent critically analysing it.
Privacy & Cookies Policy
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.