Runtime: 108 minutes
Release Date: February 5, 2016
Director: Burr Steers
Anyone who ever took a woman's literature class in college or a course on British literature probably read Pride and Prejudice before. While adding zombies to the story should make things more interesting (and keep me from nodding off), the film version was pretty meh.
Just in case you don't know the story, the writer literally took the original book and added new scenes that involve the Bennett sisters hunting zombies while trying to find husbands and spend time together as a family. All the iconic characters are here, including Mr. Darcy, who actually does do the jump into the pond while fully dressed that so many women love. It's basically a classic British story with elements of love and scenes of zombies thrown in the middle.
The first time I saw a trailer for Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, my jaw literally dropped. Though I remember reading the book in college, I also remember finding it so boring that I skipped entire sections and skimmed over pages just to get to the end. Throwing in action sequences and letting the ladies fight zombies at the same time seemed like a great idea. I should also admit here that I absolutely loved Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and got a kick out of the film version. As much as I wanted to like this movie, it just didn't do it for me.
The problem is that it felt like such a departure from the book itself. I kept waiting for scenes that I would recognize from the book, but it felt like the screenwriter and directed wanted to make a movie that focused more on the zombie elements than on the original story. Instead of getting scenes of the girls talking about love, we get scenes of them talking about weapons or sharpening their weapons. There were very few scenes that seemingly came from the book, which leaves me suspicious that the film only features the new elements added to the book.
You can't think about Pride and Prejudice without thinking about Elizabeth and Darcy. Despite the two of them having their share of ups and downs, you know that they'll wind up together in the end. The film spent so much time keeping them apart that I didn't even pick up on a romance vibe. It probably didn't help that the two had absolutely no chemistry together. Darcy came across as just some random guy who happens to kill zombies instead of a romantic lead.
After reading reviews that talked about how funny the film was, I kept waiting for a scene that would make me laugh. Being a huge fan of Monty Python and Hot Fuzz type films, it really didn't deliver any laughs, not even “dead” pan laughs.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies was just plain boring and something I can't imagine myself ever watching again.