Dawn of the Dead (2004)

R   |    |  Action, Horror


Dawn of the Dead (2004) Poster

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.


7.3/10
230,118

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  • Sarah Polley and Louis Ferreira in Dawn of the Dead (2004)
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  • Sarah Polley in Dawn of the Dead (2004)
  • Sarah Polley in Dawn of the Dead (2004)
  • Dawn of the Dead (2004)
  • Ving Rhames and Sarah Polley in Dawn of the Dead (2004)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews


5 September 2004 | MovieAddict2016
OK remake if you're in the mood for a brainless action picture -- but little else.
The 2004 Dawn of the Dead is sort of a poor man's version of the 1978 original by George A. Romero, which isn't to say it doesn't deliver the goods in terms of gore, but it has little going on upstairs. It's the equivalent of choosing Paycheck over Total Recall – both films are based on short stories by late sci-fi author Philip K. Dick, but only the latter of the two movies actually amounted to anything memorable and thought-provoking.

Then again, I'm in a minority when it comes to the first Dawn – although I liked it enough to purchase the DVD, I didn't love it, and felt a lot of it was silly and not very funny at all. Many critics call it an attack on consumer America (zombies flocking to the mall = us), and while I admire the message and the obvious passion behind Romero's project, I've always admired Night of the Living Dead (1968) – the first installment in the original 'Dead Trilogy' – the best, and think its allegories about racism are even more subtle than the consumer attack in Dead (which is about as blunt as being hit over the head with a hammer).

The remake of Dead boasts a better cast but a lot of the dialogue is just as stiff as its predecessor. Also, it often stoops down to the level of sheer stupidity – for instance, when one of the film's characters, stuck in a mall surrounded by zombies, decides to make a mad dash across a street (flooded with the undead) in order to rescue a trapped…dog? This makes those 'Don't go in the basement!' moments in other horror films look like brilliant ideas.

The zombies in this re-imagining of Romero's tale are faster than the slow-walking numbskulls in the original, which begs the question: If they can run as fast as a car, how come they can't manage to outrun humans carrying heavy weapons, and can't manage to figure out how to break into a mall, when all the humans did was throw a toilet seat through a window? And how come, if they're so strong, the scrawny female heroine can manage to fend one off and shoot it on the head? And yet Ving Rhames can't manage to win a fist-fight with one? Please.

IBrains are not required for this film. At all. For that reason it is a solid 'mindless action blockbuster' – but don't expect anything substantial. You could have the IQ of a zombie and still enjoy this.

Yes, I was entertained by this movie, and that's why I recommend it as a well-made action flick, but I don't feel the need to see it again anytime soon, whereas the inferiority of this version has just made me appreciate the Romero version even more.

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Visible in Luda's room is a can of something called "Smeat" - a takeoff on Spam. Smeat had previously appeared in Waterworld (1995). The Smeat can here is circular, however - in Waterworld, the cans were rectangular, like Spam cans.


Quotes

CJ: I don't want anybody sneaking around and stealing shit.
CJ: Comprende? Sweet dreams.


Goofs

When the bus driver tries to take Ana's car, she uses her left leg to push him away while presumably her right foot is planted on the accelerator. However, the shot from inside the car shows her right leg bent as if it's resting on the center console.


Crazy Credits

During the closing credits we see a series of shots filmed by the survivors using a camcorder they find on Steve's boat. There are a couple of scenes of Steve and his girlfriend (still left on the camera), then the survivors finding a small boat with a still-animated zombie head in an icebox, and finally them running out of gas and landing on an island where they are attacked by zombies. There are then a series of brief almost-subliminal flashes of zombies "attacking" the camera.


Alternate Versions

On the Region-1 unrated DVD the naked woman in the beginning is "hidden" from added digital blood on the car windshield. However, on international releases of the director's cut, there is no blood and the woman is fully visible. It is still uncertain as to whether or not this was a choice by director Zach Snyder or by Universal. The BluRay versions throughout the world only contain the US censored version of the director's cut. However, the Nordik unrated director's cut BluRay release does not censor the naked woman and she can be seen in full. (It is English audio and subtitles can be switched off via the pop-menu during playback).


Soundtracks

You Light Up My Life
Written by
Joseph Brooks (as Joe Brooks)
Performed by Tree Adams

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Action | Horror

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