“The Dead Don’t Die” sounds like it should work on paper. Get a great ensemble cast and plop them in the middle of a small town during the zombie apocalypse. Right? Unfortunately, the deadpan dialog and slow moving story gets in it’s own way and delivers an unsatisfying product.
When polar fracking throws the earth off of it’s axis, the the dead are reanimated and begin to eat the living. Our story takes place in the small town of Centerville where everyone goes into survival mode.
Bill Murray and Adam Driver (Kylo Ren in Star Wars) play small town cops, Steve Buscemi is a farmer that wears a “Make America White Again” cap, Tilda Swinton plays a samurai mortician, and pop star, Selena Gomez, plays a hipster from Cleveland. That character rundown along with the talent attached to it sounds like comedy gold.
So why doesn’t this film work?
It simply dwells too much on the unfunny and irrelevant. The dialog, which is meant to be humorous banter between “small town folk” goes on for too long. Characters drop in and out with no opportunity for us to actually care about them, and jokes that might be funny the first time out, are thrown back in our faces several more times making them more annoying than funny.
Jim Jarmusch directs the film well enough, but his pacing and ideas of what’s funny doesn’t work well enough for “The Dead Don’t Die” to be considered an entertaining film.
There are better zombie comedies. Try “Zombieland” or “Shaun of the Dead” instead.
Running time: 103 minutes