When I pressed the play button I wasn’t exactly filled with high expectations, yet this film managed to surprise me, just not in the right way.
Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse is about three scouts who get stuck into a zombie apocalypse, sounds like a fun idea for a movie, does it? Well if executed right it would’ve been, in the case of this film though, it wasn’t. There’s not a lot of fun to be had. And that already starts with the characters.
The characters are the three characters you’d imagine there would be in a friend group of three: the normal one who everyone relates to, the awkward fat kid and the rebellious, vulgar teen who strangely enough has become friends with the other two. There was no real thought put into the characters. And as you could’ve guessed, the normal/relatable one is in love with a girl that seems out of his reach, since she already has a boyfriend, but in the end, they do find love with each other… Surprise! The acting too didn’t really help with creating characters. I really like Tye Sheridan’s previous work, thought he was brilliant in Mud¸ but here he failed to amaze. I guess he did the best he could with the given material, but the line delivery felt awkward, partially because of the awkward dialogue, but I also believe this is the cause of having a bad director on board. At least Tye’s character and the one of Joey Morgan, who plays the fat awkward one, were likeable because they’re both so familiar. They don’t have to invest any time in developing them because they don’t need any development. Or at least, that’s what the writers thought. Like said in my article about clichés, it’s fine if you have them, you just have to build on them, something they didn’t really do in Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse. I’ve said that there were two likeable characters in the film, does that make the third one annoying as hell? Carter, who was the odd one in the group, was made annoying by the acting style and also by his style of “humor”. I put “humor” in brackets, because none of his jokes made me laugh, just solely role my eyes, and that brings me to the next subject which made this film as bad as it is.
Normally in a comedy, you’d expect to at least smile at some of the jokes. You don’t have to be laughing out loud, but a comedy should at minimum be able to make you grin or chuckle. This film only made me do that once or twice during the hour and a half it was playing on my computer screen. The jokes are either about tits and girls or lazy pop-culture-references told with the use of curse words, something Carter over-used in the film. There’s a strip club called Lawrence of Alabia. Clever, huh? No, it’s not. At a certain moment Tye Sherdian’s life is depending on how far the penis of a zombie is able to stretch… Do I need to say more? There are multiple jokes that think that they are clever or well-thought out, but they’re all easy to get. There’s literally no depth to any of the jokes they make, which is one of the reasons why this film was so boring and tedious to watch: there’s nothing interesting going on. The characters were flat, so nothing interesting over there, the jokes were lazy, which also isn’t very entertaining and since it’s a horror-comedy, there were supposed to be some scary scenes, but to create tense scenes they only rely on jump scares which you can feel coming from a mile away and that too didn’t add anything interesting to the film.
It was all just a boring mess. It feels like the screenplay was handed to a twelve-year-old who then got the permission to come up with the most vulgar jokes he knew. The jokes didn’t require any thinking and were or crude or “Hey, tits”: not a lot to choose from. And I am not saying that crude humor and pop-culture references are bad, I’m just saying that they weren’t creative with them. Just look at Deadpool, who’s humor is solely those two things. In Deadpool however, they are able to translate those jokes well to the big screen and have jokes that have you “think” about them. “Think” is a big word to use in that sentence, but all I am trying to say is that it requires more brain cells to understand a joke from Deadpool than to understand one from this film.
If you weren’t able to tell from the title and from this article: I am not a big fan of this movie. But that doesn’t take away that there were some good aspects like the makeup department did a pretty good job for example. I’ve mainly focused on the bad aspects of the film because they shine through the most.
Images via: IMDb