HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Mowgli
Ski School
Ant-Man and the Wasp
Age of Shadows, The
Mission: Impossible - Fallout
Othello
First Reformed
Red White and Zero
Death Wish
Cry Wilderness
Heiresses, The
Millhouse: A White Comedy
Skyscraper
Born of Fire
Teen Titans Go! To the Movies
Lucia
Yanks
Sweet November
Ballad of Buster Scruggs, The
Real Men
Shoplifters
Redeemer
Incredibles 2
Big House, The
Night Eats the World, The
War Bus
Back to Berlin
Leave No Trace
They Shall Not Grow Old
Dollman
   
 
Newest Articles
A Name to Conjure With: David Nixon's Magic Box on DVD
Which 1950s Sci-Fi was Scariest? Invaders from Mars vs The Blob
The Empire Strikes Back: Khartoum vs Carry On Up the Khyber
Stan and Ollie's Final Folly: Atoll K on Blu-ray
The Big Grapple: Escape from New York and Its Influence
The Conquest of Everett: The Kenny Everett Video Show on DVD
Bout for the Count: Hammer's Dracula in the 1970s
Nopes from a Small Island: Mistreatment of American Stars in British Films
You Know, For Kids: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box
If He Were a Carpenter and It Was the 80s: The Fog, Prince of Darkness and They Live
Tee-Hee, It's 80s Sci-Fi Horror: Night of the Comet, The Stuff and Night of the Creeps
Chance of a Ghost: The Uninvited and The Ghost and Mrs. Muir
3 Simian Slashers: Phenomena, Link and Monkey Shines
When is a Jackie Chan Movie Not a Jackie Chan Movie? Armour of God and City Hunter
Anytime Anywhere: The Complete Goodies at the BBC Episode Guide Part 2
   
 
  Z for Zachariah Two's CompanyBuy this film here.
Year: 2015
Director: Craig Zobel
Stars: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Margot Robbie, Chris Pine
Genre: Drama, Science Fiction
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: It's happened: nuclear war. It has devastated the world, and left Ann Burden (Margot Robbie) completely alone on the planet except for her pet dog; she has survived because she lived in a valley in the United States that was preserved thanks to a quirk of geography that sees it untouched and self-sufficient, an oasis in the irradiated land. Ann has her radiation suit and uses it to explore the towns surrounding the valley, gathering supplies and anything that might help her survive, but last winter was particularly harsh, and she could do with some help to get her through this existence - then she catches sight of a man in his own radiation suit on a nearby lane.

This is John Loomis, played by Chiwetel Ejiofor, and he is delighted to see the readings on his counter tell him he can live here without his suit, so what does he do? Jumps into the nearest river, not realising he has made a mistake for the waterfall he is under channels irradiated water from outside the valley. The question of what happens when it rains sufficiently glossed over, we had an adaptation of Robert C. O'Brien's semi-classic novel of the apocalypse, or rather the post-apocalypse, which had a previous version produced for the BBC’s Play for Today strand in 1984, a presentation that was by all accounts a lot more faithful to the book than this ever was.

The problem being that the script was not too interested in adapting Z for Zachariah, it was more keen on a remake of the fifties science fiction effort The World, the Flesh and the Devil which had wondered as the Civil Rights issues in America were brewing, what would happen if the only three people left alive on the planet were a black man, a white woman and a white man - would they be able to set aside their differences and get on, or would the old rivalries and prejudices re-emerge? Of course, this was nothing to do with what O'Brien had written about, his text more concerned with science versus nature than some amorous arguments that were lazily dreamt up for this.

It was a pity, because a version of the book starring Ejiofor and Robbie, who were the sole characters originally, was an intriguing prospect, but too often this fell back on concocting conflicts that quickly lapsed into cliché, such as science versus religion (Ann is the pious one, Loomis is the boffin), or more wearisome, a love triangle. The third corner of that was Chris Pine playing Caleb, a chap who has somehow survived travelling through the supposedly deadly landscape after emerging from a mine and only needs a bath to feel right as rain once again. Well, maybe not rain. Anyway, considering exposure to the poisoned water left Loomis in a bad way that only medication and weeks of rest could fix, all administered by Ann, you could tell Caleb was a hastily thought through addition since he didn't quite fit in with the rest of it.

Given Z for Zachariah has been a set text in schoolrooms across the globe for decades with it now what would be called Young Adult fiction, though nobody called it that back in the seventies when it was drawn together from the recently-deceased O'Brien's notes, it was a major missed opportunity not to create a film a lot more faithful, especially when what had been stuck on instead was far less provocative or indeed exciting. The cast were fine, but that simply had you yearning for a more interesting project for them to appear in, and sure enough after a few festival dates it was barely released, with some big territories not getting it at all - in Britain, it debuted on television. It was an attractive-looking picture, you would give it that, though it didn't look especially post-apocalyptic, more like an advert for cereal bars with all that rural imagery, and it drew to a close with an ambiguous cut-off that solved nothing and would likely have you considering you could have spent your time with a better ninety-minute movie. Music by Heather McIntosh.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 297 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
George White
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Aseels Almasi
Rashed Ali
Alexander Taylor
   

 

Last Updated: