Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: A Movie Review by Nelson Espinal

     Near the beginning of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Mr. Darcy (Sam Riley) is asked his opinion of Elizabeth Bennet (Lily James), and he simply says, “She is tolerable.”
     There is no better way to describe this 1 hour and 48 minute movie.
     The film keys in on the five Bennett sisters that live in a zombie-filled society.
     They were all sent to be trained in China at an early age in order to become masters of deadly martial arts. Upon introduction, it is clear that none of these women is the stereotypical woman.
     They are seen sharpening their swords and cleaning guns during an extremely memorable introductory shot. The sisters receive word they have been invited to a party, and they then prepare accordingly.
     They have secret compartments under their dress in which they store knives and guns. In stockings, around their waist, pretty much anywhere imaginable.  
     The packed action scenes make it challenging to divert attention for long periods of the time. The first major fight scene is the best as all, as the five sisters work to clear a room of zombies.
     They attack zombies in a vicious manner, demonstrating impeccable fighting abilities. The PG-13 rating, however, means only minimal levels of gore can be shone, limiting the potential of fight scenes.
     If this film somehow carried an R rating, the action would be brought to another level and this film would enter a tier of its own in the saturated market of zombie movies.
     Apart from the thrilling opening scene in which Mr. Darcy brutally kills a man who was suppressing his infection, the film suffers from pacing issues.
     In the movie, there is a Walking Dead-esque scene in which Jane Bennett cuts a zombie up limb by limb. She later gets the flu and is sick for a long period of time.
     Very little happens during her time away, which results in the movie dragging on until the ball.
     Apart from pacing issues, there is a lack of balance between the Pride and Prejudice moments and the zombie moments, with the former being much more present. It is during these extended romantic moments when the film begins to drag.
     With overbearing amounts of romance, the movie fails to avoid an abundance of romantic clichés.
     To list, there is the love at first site cliché between Jane Bennett (Bella Heathcote) and Mr. Binkley (Douglas Booth), the same holding true for Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy.
     Additionally, there is the love triangle between Elizabeth Bennet, Mr. Darcy, and George Wickham (Jack Hutson).
     Finally, there is the classic tale of a woman settling for an annoying man, with the relationship of hilarious Parson Collins (Matt Smith) and Charlotte Lucas (Aisling Loftus).
     The relationship between Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth outshines the others as they constantly go at each other, yet their feelings for one another are as visible as a clear day.
     Sam Riley and Lily James deliver amazing performances that make the relationship feel real.
     Lily James, especially, does a great job with the lead role in this film as a strong, independent woman who is both beautiful and a spectacular warrior.
     This holds true for the entire cast. They buy into the concept of the film and deliver incredibly believable performances.
Director Burr Steers should be applauded. The cast could not have done a better job, and their performances overcome poor writing and editing to make it somewhat of an enjoyable experience.
     In the end, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies lives up to its name, providing some good action scenes, witty humor, and romance to appease those who are suckers for a cheesy love story.
     Even with the pacing inconsistencies and the poor writing, there are definitely worse ways to spend two hours.
     Who knows, you might get invested in Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth to the point where you shed a tear towards the end of the movie.

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