Monday, November 8, 2010
Movie Monday: The Walking Dead (Episode 1)
"The Walking Dead" has taken over the "Mad Men" slot on Sundays. Since I was thirsty for a new story to obsess over, I became, for an hour, one of the mindless slaves their advertising wanted me to be.
The story is great, but it would be difficult to make a bad story out of what has been argued as the second greatest comic book of all time (nothing is better than Watchmen, y'all). The effects are great, the visual imagery is strong, and I have relatively few problems with the dialogue.
My biggest problem with this series is, of course, the acting. Andrew Lincoln, the man playing the protagonist Rick Grimes, is just not an interesting actor. Remember how in I Am Legend Will Smith was by himself on screen for the first 45 minutes of the movie & you barely noticed that nothing was happening? Yeah, that wasn't the case here. Lincoln lacks subtext & the ability to tell us what he is thinking without mugging. The brief moment we had with Shane (Jon Bernthal) & the rest of the van camp was spent with Bernthal more or less screaming at the camera "I AM THE BAD GUY. I WILL BE BAD. LOOK AT MY EYES! THEY SAY BAD GUY."
I suppose my other problem with the show is the pacing. It seemed over-anxious to get Shane into the city & around some grisly creatures to blow up. I could have used a few more traveling scenes, or some more of the normal-life-backstory-lead-up. The first episode came off as rushed & almost forced, in a way that said "Look horror movie fans! Zombies! Please watch our show!" I supposed elapsed time is easier in comic books, when the author can write "later..." & the reader is free to imagine what happened in the interim.
And that's my problem overall with the TV version of "The Walking Dead"; it's not a book.