Director Henry Hobson
Screenplay John Scott 3
Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Abigail Breslin, Joely Richardson
Maggie is a mid-apocalypse film intended to give Arnold Schwarzenegger a chance to test his dramatic range. The story takes place in a mid-American farm town, where a disease that walks and quacks like a zombie duck is infiltrating the world, one slow death at a time.
People can get catch the disease, but it can take a long time before they start to smell humans as food. This allows the family some time to come to terms, This process is long, drawn out, and rather boring. The result is one of three choices. Either one keeps them home, administering a painful drug to end it or the family sends them off to a place where they’ll shove all of the infected in a room. The other option is to try to hide the patient at the home and, when the time comes, “end it quick.”
Schwarzenegger is Wade Vogel and his daughter from his first marriage, Maggie (Breslin) is infected. 2nd wife Caroline (Richardson) has sent away their two younger kids. Now all we have to do is wait…wait…wait…
The film is drawn out, a form of torture. The scenes are slow, deliberate and lingering. The story is aimless and without hope.
We’re supposed to feel the drama of a father and daughter heading towards the inevitable. The chemistry between the three leads is awkward. This is not to say that it is the fault of Schwarzeneggar. The strange mix of zombie apocalypse, with a contagious disease drama is one that would be difficult in the best circumstance. The script and direction can’t overcome these factors.
I am not sure I have ever seen Breslin so forced before. Her interactions with Schwarzenegger feel less father-daughter than two people paying charades. The most effective scene is one in which one of them pretends to be sleeping.
Even if the cinematography and soundtrack are a bit forced. The overall feeling of the film works for one viewing, but it sure draws out its 95 minutes.
(*** out of *****)