Dawn Of The Dead (2004)

DVD Cover (Universal Unrated)
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Overall Rating 70%
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Ranked #556
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A nurse, a policeman, a young married couple, a salesman and other survivors of a worldwide plague that is producing aggressive, flesh-eating zombies, take refuge in a mega Midwestern shopping mall. --IMDb
Review by Chad
Added: April 03, 2004
The movie starts out with Ana (Sarah Polley), a nurse, getting some shit at work. Seems some people have been bitten, but since she's ready to jet, she pays no mind to it and takes off. She gets home, and she's too busy getting some shower-sex to notice the special news bulletins on TV, and she winds up asleep. 6:37 A.M., hubby wakes up to some strange noises... it's the neighbor kid. He sees her face is covered in blood, and goes over to help her, only to get bit in the jugular and die. Ana is going apeshit, and hubby turns into a zombie and goes after her. She manages to escape, hops in her car, and drives off into the sunset. She eventually crashes into a tree, typical female driver and all, and is met up with a gang of kids looking for shelter. In our gang, we find Kenneth (Ving Rhames), a muscled up cop; a drug-dealer'esque black guy named Andre (Mekhi Phifer) and his pregnant wife Luda (Inna Korobkina); and an average Joe type character by the name of Michael (Jake Weber). They decide to head over to the local mall, and wahlah, we have a movie.

Going into this movie, I tried to view it with an open mind... I really did. I tried to forget that it was a savage rape of the original Dawn Of The Dead, and that the director was pissing all over Romero's masterpiece. I tried to ignore the dumbing-down-for-the-kids storyline changes, and I even tried to ignore the stupid plot twists. But enough was enough, and this one just bombed in my opinion.

First up, the entire storyline. It wasn't horridly bad, I've definitely seen worse; but take away the zombies and the mall, and it has nothing to do with the original. Why slap on the title and call it a remake, if it's not? Sure got me there, but they did it. The original had the perfect blend of storyline and action; it tried to explain what was going on, and show how a couple of ordinary people would react to it if it were to happen. This version was basically "Scream" with zombies, in the sense that is obviously marketed to the teenie crowd at the local mall who don't care about silly storylines, sensible plot turns, or anything other than some blood and special effects; the irony of that is either sickening or hilarious, or a bit of both. We have some achingly retarded plot turns throughout the movie. Skip the rest of this paragraph if you don't want spoilers. The whole gang decides to risk their lives for a dog and a likely-to-be-dead woman. Why? Why not, you got me there. We have a mall security guard, CJ (Michael Kelly), who really does great in his role. He's an asshole, who doesn't give a shit about anyone around him, and is only out to cover his own ass. He'd rather see these people die than risk helping them, takes control of everything, threatens to kill them if they don't listen to him, and is an all-around cock. In the timespan of one scene, with no explanation, he turns into a good guy, helping everyone out and sacrificing himself in the process. Why the change of heart? Got me again. The whole ravaging the mall for supplies part of the original? Gone here. With the exception of some food and water, a few medical supplies, and a croquet mallet, not a single thing is taken or used from the mall, at all. With all the crap around them, they ignore it. Why? ..... Then finally, we have the grand revelation of what should be done to survive the rest of the movie. We need to reinforce a bus, drive across the city, and hop on a boat to hit up an island "that may not even be there". Yes, they have no clue where they're going, but all eagerly agree to this plan. Sadly enough, this isn't even half of the storyline twists that had me dumbfounded with their foolishness.

With all that said, there were a few good things going for this movie, believe it or not. The gore, while pretty minimal for a zombie movie, was top-notch; and again, the irony of me saying that after my comment up above is delicious, I know. The chainsaw idea on the bus was pretty smart. The zombies looked... no, no they didn't. The whole instant messaging system on the rooftops was... nah, that was lame. But the acting was gr... fuck. I've run out of good stuff to say about this movie.

Overall, if you've seen every zombie movie ever made, including House Of The Dead, and just have to see another zombie movie... my advice would be to start watching every other zombie movie for a second time. 1/10.
Clarence Bodicker #1: Clarence Bodicker - added 07/30/2004, 02:11 AM
Finally, a review for Dawn Of The Dead (2004) that speaks the truth. This movie was a huge dissapointment.
spookychild #2: spookychild - added 09/12/2004, 12:48 AM
I disagree, and i actually thought it was better then the origional. Now im going to get beaten for that statement but oh well
Crispy #3: Crispy - added 09/12/2004, 05:01 AM
I have yet to see this, maybe i'll downloa...rent it... :-D and try it out. But a lot of people said it was a good movie if you dont look at it from the original's point of view. And this version has breasts, and i like breasts, so it gets points for that
Crispy #4: Crispy - added 09/18/2004, 07:43 AM
Ok well now i HAVE seen it, and I liked it. The biggest thing about it that I like was that the zombies were as agile as they were in life. Instead of just sort of lumbering around, they full out run, and do things like jump over railings and whatnot
Chad #5: Chad - added 11/08/2004, 07:58 AM
While I still stand by the opinions I originally wrote up above, the unrated DVD does make the movie much better. While shocking, I'm honestly not surprised at how much storyline was cut to appeal to your average short-attention-span mallrat. It's sad too, that the American "unrated" DVD is still edited... CGI "blood" covering up parts that they didn't want to include is just lame. I stand by my 1/10 for the theatrical movie, but I'd bump it to 4/10 for the unrated DVD version. While the movie was still mediocre, the cut scenes did add something to the overall movie.
KaOTiK #6: KaOTiK - added 02/08/2005, 08:51 AM
i actually really enjoyed this remake and got a bargain on the unrated dvd for only $10
Hammer P #7: Hammer P - added 05/27/2005, 04:35 AM
I liked this movie...
crAckerr #8: crAckerr - added 07/24/2005, 05:52 PM
I must say, although the movie was nowhere close to as good as Romero's original, or most other zombie movies i still thought it was pretty good. I agree that it was made for a teen audience with short attention spans, but I didn't expect more than that. It pulled off what it was supposed to do, and instead of a movie with storyline and character we get an action/horror fast paced movie. 7/10
Ginose #9: Ginose - added 12/18/2005, 01:48 PM
I got this movie for $9.99. I loved it. I agree with you all when saying it was nowhere near as good as George Romero's, but you just can't hate it! It had a great story, fast zombies (though I prefer slow zombies since slow zombies make more sense, and above all, it had Ving Rhames. It wasn't really scary, but it had alot of gore and a fair bit of comedy... above all, it had tits, zombies, and lesbians. This was a wonderful movie. Don't hate it til you try it. 8/10
thrasher #10: thrasher - added 06/02/2006, 01:07 PM
This is one of those remakes that has people on both far ends of the whole positive and negative spectrum. Obviously, and it's typical or most remakes, it doesn't live up to the original, and I would've liked them to have had the bikers breaking into the mall. Probably 5/10 is the highest rating I'd give it.
QuietMan #11: QuietMan - added 01/21/2007, 11:43 AM
Can't say it's a total pile of crap but it's not great but it has it's moments. I don't think the zombies are "as agile as the were in life" they seem alot faster plus the fact that since they're dead rigor mortis should have set in within a few hours stopping them from being agile. Still the make-up is a plus
Dametria #12: Dametria - added 04/24/2007, 11:49 AM
LOVED it. Maybe even better than the original
bluemeanie #13: bluemeanie - added 05/12/2007, 06:40 PM
Better than Romero's by leaps and bounds. I typically hate remakes and have only liked two better than the originals -- this one and "The Hills Have Eyes". This film is bad ass from beginning to end. Snyder knows how to do horror very well and he has so much love for the original, but still manages to infuse his own style and his own vision into the thing. Don't know how anyone -- especially a hard core horror fan -- could give this film 1/10. Unimaginable. 9/10.
Bliss From A Dead Embrace #14: Bliss From A Dead Embrace - added 01/30/2009, 02:03 AM
This was better then the original. thousands of undead cannibals are scary. thousands of undead cannibals that can run are terrifying. Casting was great. The plot was intense. Blood, guts, fire, comedy, tits and violence. What more could you ask for?
Rest Easy Soul #15: Rest Easy Soul - added 07/25/2010, 10:56 AM
I hate zombie movies but this was a great one. I can see why people love these movies.
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