“Z for Zachariah”

Z-for-Zachariah-poster

GREEN JEANS MOVIE REVIEW: Last night, Captain Critic and I sat down to watch “Z for Zachariah,” which stars Margot Robbie (The Wolf of Wall Street, Focus), Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years A Slave, Children of Men), and Chris Pine (Star Trek [2009], Rise of the Guardians). It is directed by Craig Zobel (Compliance, Great World of Sound) and the screenplay is written by Nissar Modi (Breaking at the Edge). This film is loosely based on a book of the same name and follows a young woman named Ann Burden (Robbie) who is living on her family’s farm in a post-apocalyptic world ravaged by a nuclear disaster. The air is contaminated, but remains clean on her farm. She is alone on this farm until John Loomis (Ejiofor), a scientist, stumbles upon the area. Ann and him bond and spend days trying to deal with conflicts and find new ways to survive, but everything really shifts once a new man, Caleb (Pine), comes across the farm.

z for zachariah

What to say about this movie…well there’s not much to say because nothing really happened. Let me start this review by saying that this is based on a book (which I stated above in the information), but it is an extremely loose adaptation after reading the plot summary of the book once I wrapped up the film. In all honesty, the book had a lot more going for it than the film did, and I’ll explain why. The plot of this flick is rather basic, with the addition of a theme and a “love triangle” to move the chains. This is more of a random event chosen after a nuclear fallout rather than an expedition to resolve a conflict. What you are watching is a man come up on a plantation that isn’t radioactive and meeting a girl, with their relationship being of the only heavy writing of the picture. I don’t really know what else to say. It’s a whole bunch of nothing, but yet I wasn’t bored. The theme of science vs. faith is always interesting to me, and they could’ve played it better in this movie, but they still did a good job with what they had. As with the characters, you are investing all of your chips to see some development form to bring about a conclusion in which you couldn’t understand how it would end. I mean, if I’m given a plot with the only conflict being a hinting at a feud between two guys over one girl and nothing else, what could the ending possibly be? You may be saying “who wins the girl,” but the problem with that is the main con that haunts this whole thing: fear of moving forward. Too many times does this film hint at something forming, but whenever it happens, the writers back the characters off. A directing choice will give you the assumption that something monumental is going down, but at the last moment it cuts to another scene and therefore move back to where you started. It annoyed the heck out of me and I will say that it will do this throughout the whole runtime. The characters were good themselves and the acting was great, but the script gave them no conflict to act on, only one to constantly surround to the point of exhaustion. Technically not exhaustion, but excruciating build-up to nowhere. And that’s the ending. No resolve. A big cliffhanger happens, which I won’t spoil, but they don’t solve it. It’s endgame was like its whole entirety: cut off before answers were given. Besides that point, other issues I have found with this movie would be how you can judge a lot of things that happen. This mostly deals with some laughable dialogue and picking at radiation specifics. It makes it feel thrown in to make the plot move along even though it didn’t go far. I gave this flick a better rating than I am promoting it because I was interested throughout. I liked the performances and the cinematography was great. There was more that could’ve been taken from the experience, but it was just never meant to be. It was entertaining. By reading the summary of the book, the book version had a more thrilling sense to it and even didn’t include the character of Caleb. The ending still didn’t provide answers, but it was more edgy than the lousy ending this movie gave me. I would’ve given it a Juicy rating had it not been for the ending. If you ever want to watch this, go ahead, there are certain aspects that I enjoyed, but as a whole (especially the ending), it was rather “just serviceable” for lack of a better term. FINAL SCORE: 69%= Burnt Popcorn

Here is the trailer:

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