The Dead Don’t Die
Something’s not quite right in Centerville.
“Welcome to Night of the Living Deadpan,” said Phil de Semlyen in Time Out London. The first thing to know about Jim Jarmusch’s “languid, undercooked” new zombie comedy is that it at least has an ensemble cast to die for, including Tom Waits as a hermit, Tilda Swinton as a sword-wielding mortician, and Bill Murray and Adam Driver as bickering cops who can’t decide how to deal with the undead who’ve invaded their small town. Jarmusch’s cheeky stab at the genre never quite coalesces, though. “Even Murray, a Zen master of this kind of baggily wordy comedy, struggles to mine gold.” The zombies here covet things from their past lives, muttering words like “Chardonnay!” and “Wi-Fi!” said Stephanie Zacharek in Time.com. The story ends with “a stretch of preachiness” about materialism that “doesn’t sit right”; the movie is better when it’s riffing on the zombie canon, employing Jarmusch’s comic use of awkward pauses. It’s also fun to see a movie in which Driver “leans fully into his laconic weirdo mode,” said Nate Jones in NYMag.com. The sight of the lanky actor stuffed into a Smart car is alone worth the price of admission.
Abbot Genser/Focus Features, AP, Reuters (2) ■