Warning: I'm one of those people who adores Pride and Prejudice. Not only do I own two copies of it, but I also have four movie adaptions in my modest collection. Despite this, I never read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, not because it didn't interest me, but because I never got around to it. When I saw the trailer a few weeks ago, though, I decided that I needed to see it.
I spent the weekend at the beach (not literally, but close enough), and intended to get some much needed shopping in, which ended up not happening. I loathe shopping. On top of that I was feeling grumpy due to lack of sleep and acute boredom, so seeing a movie theater with all the times posted in big numbers outside was a true blessing. Weekends aren't the best time to see a movie, I know, but this particular theater wasn't packed, and my mom and I didn't sit next to anyone.
Even better? It's a good movie! I didn't go in expecting much. How are they going to incorporate the original story with a new, zombie apocalypse story line? Will it be funny? It'd better be funny. Will I like Sam Riley as Mr. Darcy? These are all important questions. I'm a seriously Prejudice person, after all.
So, to answer my own questions: they blended the two worlds together with unexpected capability. I was unsure at first, and wasn't entirely convinced until the first real fight scene involving the Bennett sisters. As with any condensed version, a lot is cut out, but the important scenes are there, and I can't complain about that; you won't bust a rib from laughing too hard, but it had some genuinely funny moments, and the trailer makes it look far more serious than it really is; despite his rough voice, I liked Sam Riley, and I've liked him in other films I've seen him in. He wouldn't fit into, say, the '95 version, but for this zombified story, he's perfect.
Matt Smith plays Mr. Collins, which was another perfect casting choice. Lily James is Elizabeth, who does the job well, but is overall underwhelming. Douglas Booth is Mr. Bingley, and he's way, way too pretty. Put him in a magazine, seriously. I don't even mean that entirely as a compliment, for he doesn't look as if he belongs in this era. Bella Heathcote is Jane, who was pretty and likable. Also, Charles Dance plays Mr. Bennett, and he should have been in this more. I love Charles Dance. The most surprising casting choice was Sally Phillips as Mrs. Bennett. My immediate thought was: Miranda! Another good casting choice.
My only advice to anyone who wants to see this is: see the 1995 and 2005 versions first. You don't have to, but Zombies pays homage to both of them (unless I imagine one or two of those moments, which is possible), and you probably won't understand certain scenes or realize that something was changed unless you watch those beforehand.
Overall, this was a lot of fun, and it's always great to see women kicking ass, especially zombie ass. Go see it!
My grade: B+