Saturday, March 19, 2011

my brief thoughts on.... 'Pontypool'

it's hard to find an original twist on an old theme anymore.... and the old zombie/virus/outbreak movie is one of the hardest to find something fresh.... but 'Pontypool' succeeds at the task.... it doesn't carry it far enough to make this movie hold up until the end, but it caught my attention from the get-go and held it for quite a while.... Stephen McHattie does a wonderful job as the lead character of Mazzy, the radio shock jock who's reporting the violent outbreaks occuring in the town.... he had the perfect voice of a radio personality and he's always interesting to watch as an actor, i can't seem to take my eyes off of him while he's working.... the script was fairly well thought out and paced.... i think my biggest problems with this movie was the explanation of the outbreak and the way it all ended.... i'm all for an attempt at something new, but this concept was pretty far fetched and unusual.... the way the virus works is that it's tramsmitted through speech.... ie: the person hears certain things and that sets the virus in action and makes the person violent and they begin attacking others.... therefore, Mazzy, who's reporting the story is also the one causing it.... that presents a difficult scenario for the people at the radio station, report the news or let it happen and avoid spreading it further.... here's the full synopsis from :

"The film is set in a radio station in Pontypool, a small village in Ontario, Canada, where one day the morning team starts taking reports of extreme, bloody incidents of violence occurring in town. As the story unfolds, the radio staff soon realizes the violence that is ripping society apart is due to a virus being spread through the English language. That in turn poses a problem for a yappy radio jock and his staff holed up in the broadcast booth housed in the basement of the town's abandoned church as a slaughter rages beyond its walls."
the "slaughter" they're referring too is only seen, roughly, once.... there is an extended scene where some of the infected attack the station and get inside.... that's it, nothing else really happens with the "zombies".... i think that was something else that kind of bummed me out.... when i watch a movie like this, i usually expect more "zombie" action.... so if you're going to go the "zombie" route, either include lots of outbreak victims or none.... don't tease.... i went with a 3 out of 5 star rating for this one.... it's not great, but it's not terrible.... it has its good points, but it also has its bad points.... it's not OnDemand right now, so you'll have to rent it or track it down somewhere.... there are many other movies of this type out there that are better, but this is a decent little time waster.... i just wish it had a stronger ending and would have maintained a healthier pace.... and that's all i have to say about that.... now you know, the rest of the story.

if you want a great outbreak movie, check out: '28 Weeks Later', 'The Signal' and 'The Last Man on Earth' (1964)

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