Maggie: Schwarzenegger Like You’ve Never Seen Him Before in Unique Zombie Drama
- Abigail BreslinArnold Schwarzenegger...
- Henry Hobson
- In 1 Cinema
Hushed and understated, there’s much to admire about Henry Hobson’s unusually sombre and atmospheric Maggie; a low-budget zombie-drama which, with the exception of a few minor faults, is a surprisingly emotional accomplishment in a genre known for its violent and occasionally goofy nature.
Maggie is centred on Wade Vogel (Schwarzenegger); a father of three who is trying to deal with the outbreak of an incurable disease caused by the Necroambulist Virus, which has been destroying harvests around the country and turning humans into the walking dead. The country has done its best to deal with the outbreak and there seems to be fewer people infected with the devastating illness, though the initially infected are sent into quarantine.
Unlike traditional zombie films, those infected slowly and gradually turn and when Wade’s eldest daughter, Maggie (Breslin), falls victim to the virus, the devoted father is put in an impossible situation.
The biggest point of note about Maggie is Schwarzenegger’s remarkable performance. We’re not used to seeing the sixty-seven year old actor dive into the‘serious’ and ‘profound’ – but, unlike his most recent endeavours, his performance here is surprisingly affective. Subtle, unassuming and, most of all, believable, Arnie – as the loyal and distraught father who is not quite ready to let go off his little girl just yet – gives it his all and although he’s no Al Pacino, he provides the heart of the film and does so incredibly well. The Oscar-nominated Breslin, meanwhile, is equally as moving as a deteriorating teenager who knows the end is near.
Maggie is a slow-burner and for those expecting zombie shootouts filled with lots of guts and brains, will be thoroughly disappointed; it’s a mood-piece and a story that proves to be an innermost examination of parenthood and just how far a parent will go to protect their child. Hobson definitely takes his time in getting the story underway and Maggie – although visually effectual and gripping – can prove a little too slow at times with the otherwise aptly slow pacing seeming to come close to a complete halt.
Nevertheless, Maggie’s power lies with its characters and the moving performances from its two leads; it’s a fresh new angle at a genre that is proving to be timeless.