Sunday, 27 January 2013

Cockneys VS Zombies (2012) - Zombie Horror Film Review

This was to be the final film at Zombie-fest 2012 but unfortunately due to a late start I had to miss this and instead drive home. I finally got to see it last night but was it worth the wait?

Two builders on a construction site accidentally stumble across an old tomb. Going inside to investigate they are quickly set upon by zombies sealed in there. The builders turn into the undead themselves and the disease spreads until the whole of London's east end finds itself in the grip of a zombie outbreak. Meanwhile two brothers decide to rob a bank in order to get some money to stop their Grandad Ray's retirement home from being closed down (which also happens to be next to the construction site the plague has been unleashed from).  The brothers find themselves caught up in the outbreak and begin a plan to go rescue Grandad and his friends.

I really don't know what to make of this film, by the films end I was still undecided on what I thought of it. Cockneys VS Zombies just doesn't feel like it knows what it wants to be and has some bad casting choices. Alan Ford (Bricktop from Snatch) pretty much reprises his role here, but instead cast as a good guy. He swears like a sailor throughout but just looks a bit lost as he stumbles round trying to act like a leader for his friends, all bark but no bite. Maybe it is because he looks and sounds just like Bricktop but he doesn't seem to fit well into his role at all.  The brothers Andy and Terry (Harry Treadaway and Rasmus Hardiker) act well as brothers but they, along with their cousin (Michelle Ryan from Eastenders) and friend all look far too young to be portrayed as hardened criminals, not the least bit threatening.

The film is a comedy and really does have some amazingly funny sequences (an early highlight involving a toddler zombie). The trailer for the film shows most of the best bits though and to be fair when it hits, it hits with its comedy, such as an old man with a zimmer frame being chased very, very slowly by a shambling zombie across a back garden. The notion of football fans still fighting even when turned into zombies was inspired! A lot of the time the film resorts to 'awesome' moments of the characters taking out hordes of zombies against the odds, but by the films end this has occurred so many times that it just has totally lost its power.

In zombie films usually hardly anyone, if anyone at all survives, even in the comedy ones you get a good spectrum of characters good and bad dying. It is a mild spoiler but in Cockneys VS Zombies a large chunk of the cast survive, especially ridiculous considering over half the characters are old age and not able to move very fast at all. The obviously bad characters stand no chance while anyone remotely portrayed as good or heroic live to fight another day.

The plot is not fantastic but does give an excuse for lots of zombie violence. The way the bank robbers find out the outbreak has happened is really quite cool, trapped in the bank surrounded by Police they head outside to confront the law only to discover them all suddenly all dead and undead. The effects are really quite good even if a lot of CGI is also used. A pre title jaw ripping off sets things up nicely. Later cool effects are used such as a zombie having its head twisted round backwards, stuff I hadn't really seen being done before. There are lots of guns in the film (a plot point makes this plausible) and these are the main weapon used but sometimes, especially the crowd shots of zombies getting killed look just a bit too fake and CGI'd.

A fun film, really quite funny at times, and has an impressive looking budget (slick and professional looking) but too many times just falls onto the side of just another zombie film that doesn't do enough to distinguish itself from the horde.


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