Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse (**1/2): Doesn’t try real hard

scoutsguide

Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse – 2015

Director Christopher B. Landon
Starring Tye Sheridan, David Koechner, Logan Miller, Joey Morgan, Sarah Dumont, Halston Sage, Cloris Leachman, Niki Koss, Patrick Schwarzenegger
Screenplay Carrie Evans, Emi Mochizuki, Christopher B. Landon

Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse tries to be smart. It tries to have heart. But not that hard.

Its mission is simple: what if three overgrown boy scouts actually found their overripe children’s survival skills are useful in helping them to survive the beginning of the end. We can expect to see a pocket knife, a variety of knots and an attempt to start a fire without matches. Then there should be a creative death or two. Even more creative dispatching of zombies.

The best of the movie is no more than 2 or 3 gags. One involves a toothless Cloris Leachman and the other has someone hanging by a zombie appendage. The best might just be an innumerable number of cat eyes in the dark.

Overall, though, it’s a thoroughly average, if likeable film. The three protagonists (Sheridan, Miller and Morgan) and the woman (Dumont) that they survive with have decent chemistry. They handle the embarrassing parts of the script like good soldiers, so when it’s time to kick some zombie ass, we are happy enough to root them on.

The effects vary from average to bad. The dialogue has its moments  of inspiration (“It smells like Pixie Stix and hope in here.”). Then there is a lame attempt to mock Islamic terrorism by picking the least likely group to seek revenge at this point (the Taliban).

Ultimately, this is nothing that Tye Sheridan or his co-stars will have to erase from his resume. It has that going for it. Koechner is like a more accessible (and sane) version of Randy Quaid. He is willing to put himself in any position for a laugh. I am still waiting for him to take a dump in a urinal. I believe I could watch Halston Sage in anything.

There is nothing here I will think of in a week from now, when I am at an Imax theater watching Star Wars make it’s triumphant return to the big screen. It’s good enough for a once through.

(**1/2 out of *****)

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