Sunday, April 12, 2015

The Lazarus Effect Review

I'm sure there are a lot of dudes out there in the world who would be pretty psyched if Olivia Wilde were to wink at them. Unless of course it happens after she has been injected with the Lazarus serum, because zombie Wilde means business. Not fun, sexy business either, no sir. If the undead Olivia even so much as looks in your general direction, you gonna die baby!

The Lazarus Effect is a film that was on life support long before they ever shot a single scene. When a screenplay is this lazy and predictable, a director can pull every trick they can think of out of their bag and you can lavish as much dazzling cinematography on the audience as you want and it is still going to be a long shot to earn my recommendation. So imagine how far I am from a thumbs up here when I point out that director David Gelb had essentially no tricks in his bag and the photography was about as run of the mill as you can find. This is a movie that was about as lifeless as the dog they bring back from puppy heaven.

It wasn't a train wreck at any colossal level, early on I actually felt like something mildly cool could come from this one. You can tell that somewhere bubbling behind the lazy writing were some genuinely intriguing ideas regarding the advancements being made in medicine and the concept of why it may not be so ideal to play god, but at only 77 minutes long The Lazarus Effect quickly rushed through any potential moment to bring any substance to the narrative. Even the way the characters are "developed" is completely mishandled because at no point do we even have a chance to breathe and learn to understand and care for these people. If you want to make the death of a main character carry some emotional weight for your audience, you need to give them a reason to give a shit beyond turning a pretty face into a corpse on camera.

I can't find much negative to say about the performances across the board, including the supporting cast of Donald Glover, Evan Peters and Sarah Bolger, but I also can't find much positive to say about their characters or what they brought to the table. If you have seen this film perhaps you can explain to me, what was the point of having Niko (Glover) be in love with Zoe (Olivia Wilde)? Honestly, please help me out, because I can't find any single reason to include that side plot except perhaps the writers had a misguided notion that it would make us care about them more as people? I would love to be proven wrong, for someone to tell me why those longing looks Niko gave her from a distance had any relevance whatsoever to the big picture, but I doubt it.

Essentially this was a rushed "horror" film in which every scare is of the jump variety and none of them were particularly effective due to being so damn predictable. Oh, you are going to look under the table to see what is down there? I bet when you come back up it will be waiting for you!!! BOO!

I wanted to at least have a little bit of a fun with The Lazarus Effect, but this one never had much of a pulse.


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