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Maggie (2015) movie review

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Maggie Movie Review (2015) by the Movie Slackers

In a weekend that has shown two new directors at opposite sides of the critical spectrum, it is nice to have one that shows he knows what he is doing. Hot Pursuit director, Anne Fletcher, has been shown just how NOT to direct a film but Henry Hobson’s Maggie however, is one people should give a try.

The film has been getting some buzz since it premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, most notably for performance which is his best in his career. The other notable performance is Abigail Breslin as the title character and both are outstanding. ‘AHNOLD’ is Wade, a farmer who lives with his second wife, Caroline (Joely Richardson) out in the middle of the countryside. Far away from the disease that has been turning people into carnivorous zombies. But that all changes when Maggie starts to show signs she is becoming one of those flesh craving zombies. “Her signs will change over time, Wade. For right now she is okay, but you are gonna have to make a decision. Whatever it is, make it quick,”  the understanding doctor tells Wade. Thus, is the quagmire. How does a father go about preparing to kill his only daughter? It is an agonizing conundrum.

Arnold has shown he can be funny in films like Twins and Junior, but his main staple has been as a larger than life action hero. One that has cemented him as an American Hollywood legend. As of lately though, some of his box office mojo has lost some of its testosterone. So Maggie is quite a departure for him, but in this film he shines.  He is a quiet man; weathered and beaten down. The plague has taken its toll on him and now he is faced with a horrible ultimatum. Arnold’s performance is graceful and thoughtful. Wade is mindful of what is coming and the choice he is laboring to come to terms with. He tries to make sense of it all but in the end he knows he can’t. This is the finest work Arnold has done as an actor.

Abigail Breslin as Maggie, shines, too. She is a young and attractive girl that is in the prime of her life but now finds herself dying, slowly and painfully. She is scared but tough enough to fight the disease as best she can, even on a night out with her friends which includes a young boy she likes who is also dying of the sickness. As Maggie gets worse, she becomes resigned to her fate. Death is coming, just a matter of time and how you go out.

What I liked about this film is the intelligence of the script by John Scott 3. We don’t have to struggle through an hour of setup for the plot and characters to finally realize what is happening to them. It is written with depth and gives the characters brains while respecting the viewers brains, as well. It does leave a question unanswered, though. If this disease is so contagious why are people still hugging and touching? We are left to assume that some people may be immune or just are willing to take the chance of infection rather than give up on human contact.

Henry Hobson’s directing is a bit slow in spots, but he has crafted a dark, brooding and somber film about love and loss and he has done a good job, overall. He has mostly been an art department and titles designer for films and some games, so directing this film he has done well for a first attempt.

Maggie is not perfect, to be sure. As I said it is slow in spots and some questions are left unexplained, but overall, this is a different kind of zombie film. The acting is outstanding by its leads. The script is smart and respects the characters and the audience’s ability to think on their own. Henry Hobson’s direction is solid enough for a first time director and David Wingo’s stark score is added enjoyment to the bleakness of Maggie. This is not an action picture. There are a couple of scenes of violence but overall, this is a drama and a decent one at that. It never tries too hard to pull our emotions from us. It lets us go along that path on our own and on that level Maggie succeeds.

Maggie (2015) movie review

Maggie is Rated PG-13 for violence, language and some gore.

Maggie run time is 95 minutes

Watch the Maggie movie review on Youtube at https://youtu.be/rUhrP6NfcnU