While not a great movie, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is a very entertaining one. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies seamlessly weaves Austen’s novel with an impending zombie apocalypse. There are just enough Regency-Era trappings to maintain the feel of Austen’s novel, but the addition of zombies ratchets the crazy up a couple of levels. The result is a funny, campy mashup of Austen’s novel and Hammer horror films. Surprisingly, this disparate combination of elements works well and the film makers use this to good comedic effect. The movie even manages to remain reverent to the source material which is no small task.
Lily James stars as Elizabeth Bennett who is still headstrong but in this incarnation of the story is also a deadly, trained zombie killer courtesy of the Shaolin temple (really!) In fact, the movie plays this theme up as everyone living (even women) must train in hand-to-hand combat in order to slay zombies. Those of higher station and better breeding train in Japan in traditional Japanese arts. Those less fortunate must train at the Shaolin temple in China.
But as this movie does have some of the novel’s DNA: the young women no only have to battle the growing zombie threat, they must also find suitable husbands while simultaneously fending off unsuitable suitors. Lizzy Bennet’s romance with Mr. Darcy (played by Sam Riley) plays out in a manner similar to the novel with the addition of Darcy’s formidable combat skills with a katana.
There is a lot of zombie slaying action of the PG-13 variety, but nothing too brutal or gross. Although not for everyone, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies when viewed in the proper light is a funny, entertaining film.
Worth a look if you like campy, irreverent mashups or if you don’t take the source material too seriously.
Skip it if you think the addition of zombies besmirches the source material.
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