P.O.V. Zombies – Pandemic (2016)

More video game esque movies.  So this is set in a world where a deadly new disease has recently broken out.  This is about a small team in Los Angeles on a rescue mission, trying to save as many people as they can, but the infected are taking over the city at an alarming rate, so this isn’t going to be easy.  If you are a board game geek like I am, the question has to be on the tip of your tongue: does this have any relation to the classic board game from Z-Man Games?  Let me go ahead and dash those hopes: no, there is no connection, and the original title of this was actually Viral.  It doesn’t actually start off too far off from the game, though, as you’ve got a doctor, a military type, a driver and lots of mentioning of the CDC.  Unfortunately, it never gets to be as entertaining as one of my favorite board games.

gameLegacy is SO good, top 3 board games out there, easy.

This is very much in the same vein as another movie that I just recently watched: Hardcore Henry.  It is shot and cut in such a manner that you are seeing Los Angeles from the point of view of these helmets, putting you right there in the moment.  I’m convinced that the only reason this is done is the intention of making it feel like a video game, and while it is mostly effective for that sole purpose, the more times I see this gimmick in film, the less I like it.  There was the slimmest of plot lines in Hardcore Henry, and at least there is a resemblance of a story featured here, but it is all the accompanying details that I am not a fan of.  For example, these are not traditional zombies.  They go through five stages, with five being the worst.  They operate closer to the infected in 28 Days Later in being fast track stars, but then there’s an added element where they are intelligent and can set traps…  Not that there are hard and fast rules about infected/undead lore, but this is something that I have never once seen before and I had difficulty wrapping my mind around.

2Although it does feel silly to try and poke holes in something that was science fiction to begin with.

I’m not opposed to the conceit behind this, only the execution.  The more immersive POV movies I see, the less I like them, which is strange, because I still usually connect with found footage movies.  The only major positive I have to say is the acting of Alfie Allen from Game of Thrones fame (you might better know him as Reek or Theon Greyjoy).  He actually shows range as an actor, and you completely believe the character he is playing, even more so than in John Wick.  If you’re really in dire need of a P.O.V. zombie movie, please just go watch my favorite horror movie [Rec].  You can skip this.

Pandemic (2016) **

– Critic for Hire


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