Zombie movies, surely you can’t make any more of them right? Wrong! Already, I’ve managed to sneak in a little Arnie appreciation there, but I promise you, and I know it’s going to be hard to accept, but this is not the Arnold Schwarzenegger that we have grown up with or are used to. The adrenaline filled, Austrian tank or as we normally call him Arnie is stripped of his usual stereotypical acting and is placed into this independent zombie flick directed by Henry Hobson, the first feature he has directed and has impressed on his first time out. Co-starring Abigail Breslin, ‘Maggie’ is set in a time where a terrible virus has spread throughout the world and has recently infected Wade Vogel’s (Arnie) daughter Maggie (Abigail Breslin). As they go to the doctors, Wade is told that his daughter has a maximum of 8 week until the virus completely takes over and she becomes one of the undead.
Firstly, let me point out that Henry Hobson, the director of this picture worked on the brilliant video game ‘The Last of Us’ as the Title sequence director and designer, so having learnt this after watching the film, I can see the similarities of the film to the video game. The lighting and camerawork are very similar between the two and the main characters are a big bearded guy and a young girl who is infected, now if this isn’t an unofficial ‘The Last of Us’ film, then I don’t know what is. But let’s move on…Arnold Schwarzenegger’s performance as Wade Vogel is actually very good. I mentioned earlier the fact that Arnold Schwarzenegger has never been stripped down from his stereotypical characters he portrays on the screen before, and I must say, it’s an absolute delight to see. Here’s me hoping that this happens a lot more often too, and I think credit has to be given when it’s truly deserved. Not only that, but to make the jump from huge blockbuster action films that don’t always tend to be great, to going to a person’s first directorial feature film, shot on a relatively small budget of $4.5 million and having to act and read from a half decent script, I think he has done very well, indeed.
As well as it’s a joy to see Arnie act for the first time in his career, the film itself isn’t actually that bad. The one word that does occasionally pop up in my head is ‘Potential’, and there is a lot of it throughout the film. ‘Maggie’ stays at a standard beat and doesn’t normally go off the scale on theatrics or jumps, but it decides to concentrate on the father and daughter relationship throughout the film, instead of concentrating on the events that are unfolding around them. That’s not what makes it a bad film at all; it won’t be enjoyable for fans of Zombie films who are hoping for a fistful of zombies head flying off their bodies or zombies eating the insides of humans. ‘Maggie’ is very dependent on the acting of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Abigail Breslin to pull it off, but unfortunately for me, even though the acting is very good, it isn’t enough for me to say it’s a great film. It is okay, but I was hoping for a little bit more.
‘Maggie’ has bags of potential and sometimes builds up really well to what could be some memorable scenes throughout, but the film seems to bottle it and doesn’t deliver that added extra which would had made it a fantastic film. Noteworthy acting from Arnold Schwarzenegger and great acting from the young Abigail Breslin who continues to lead a promising start to a very young career. 3 out of 5 stars.