Maggie Movie Review Spoiler Free
If you thought that Arnold Schwarzenegger is just cast as an actor to deliver cheesy lines and bust bad guys in action movies, then you are more than wrong! Here is why...
Genre: Drama / Horror
Director: Henry Hobson
Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Abigail Breslin, Joely Richardson, J.D. Evermore, Bryce Romero, Jodie Moore & Rachel Whitman Groves
Run Time: 95 min.
US Release: 8 May 2015 (Internet)
UK Release: 24 July 2015
German Release: 28 August 2015 (Straight-to-DVD)
Maggie is the debut film of director Henry Hobson. The movie premiered on the 22nd of April, at the Tribeca Film Festival and has only been given limited release dates around the globe. The movie obtained mixed reviews, partially due to its clumsy storytelling and camera work, but the actors did an amazing job.
A horror-drama, the story revolves around a father who in the middle of an apocalyptic zombie-like outbreak, stays and fights for his daughter who was infected and is slowly transforming. I am throwing it out there now; I did hate the ending scene!
When I heard of the plot I was immediately hooked! The core idea behind this movie is really good; sadly Hobson did not manage to capture that essence on screen. When the credits rolled, I couldn’t shake the feeling that it squandered its potential! Maybe if a more experienced director would have taken on this project it could have been turned into a success.
What really disturbed me was the approach to this film. It looked like they were trying to use the main structure of the game The Last of Us, and convert it to a movie with a similar story. Throughout the movie I kept on thinking: I already saw this done, but much better!
Nonetheless, there were a couple of things I liked about the story’s display. I thought it was a smart move to not only show the infected humans, but also to include plants to the victims of the virus (in particular corn). Food and nutrients therefore are getting scarce and it affects especially farmers. That was a great move. In my opinion Hobson managed to portray a different and fresh new move on how to portray an apocalyptic zombie-horror film, which I welcomed. Still, the script should have been better.
Another thing I did like was the fact that the movie had tension throughout its length. I was always on the lookout for something to happen, and even though that was rarely the case, it made you pay more attention to the scenes and dialogue.
Talking about dialogue, I was really impressed by Arnold Schwarzenegger! He managed to deliver some of the best conversations I ever heard from him. The talks between father and daughter were the best parts of the movie. Other great dialogues, such as between Arnold and the doctor and the police officers, were equally emotionally loaded.You actually believed that this man was fighting for the rights and safety of his daughter and that he would do anything to make her last few days as comfortable as possible.
Arnold simply surprised me as Wade Vogl. The man managed to show real emotional depth in this movie, something I haven’t seen from him as much throughout his career. There were moments of greatness in Terminator 2, but I have never seen this man so vulnerable and desperate as in this movie. And you buy it, because he truly sells his character! I applaud this man for accepting this role and showing others that he is more than just an action star.
Abigail Breslin was good as Maggie Vogl. I like the young actress (Little Miss Sunshine, Zombieland) and do believe she has the potential to become one of the great ones in the coming years. She has great moments in this movie, such as when she re-lived the moment she was infected. This is the first time you see her strong façade break and her more fragile side come to light. She is trying to be strong for her father, but inside she is scared and insecure. The part I had most trouble believing, was the romance that appeared three-quarters into the movie, it simply felt unnatural.
Joely Richardson (Caroline Vogl) was by far the weakest link. Her character had nothing to contribute to this movie, except confronting her husband about his transforming daughter. All she did was look miserable and making others feel uncomfortable.
Apart from the weird story structure, the trouble I had most within this film was the camera work. I did not understand the choice made in cuts and directions by Hobson. Close-ups were used that cut off half of the face and in most scenes he tried to insert a sense of depth, by having three-quarters of the frames empty of people or objects, meaning it left an empty void in the background.
The pale brown colour scheme of the movie gave it a post-apocalyptic touch and feeling. Sadly the overall tone and music used in this movie did the contrary. It was all very flat and unemotional.
Verdict: Maggie was an interesting experience. The story was not great, but it contains one of Breslin’s better performances. I really disliked that ending scene, still, it integrated new and fresh ideas and it did have strong emotional scenes. But what really blew me away was to see Arnold Schwarzenegger as a vulnerable father, he truly shined in this movie. I give Maggie a 6.5 out of 10 rating.