Strange things are happening in a painfully provincial American town, inhabited by stereotypical heroes. The sun does not set despite the late hour, domestic animals run wild and run away, the batteries in the phones fall unexpectedly, watches stop, televisions and radios lose their signal. As it turns out quickly – no one else is guilty for this, but man (not one – all humanity), because it is because of his actions that the axis of the Earth has shifted. The result is a series of the abovementioned anomalies observed around the world, and the most peculiar of them is the fact that the dead rise from the graves. And they are hungry.
However, their hunger does not end with the lust for blood and meat of the living. They need coffee, xnax, wi-fi or music. They are drawn to what they most desired in their lifetime. In uninterrupted moments, the presence of mortals follows what they were attached to before they left. So the heroes stand up to the fight, which in this case is not as uneven as it was in zombie classics: this time some of them (including a gas station employee, a big fan of undead movies) know what’s going on – yes , it’s zombies to defeat them, you have to smash them or cut off their heads. Unfortunately, when corpses poop …
Three policemen (bored and aware of Ronnie’s approaching gloomy end, delaying Cliff’s retirement, Mindy rebuked and scared), the eccentric, samurai katana owner of the funeral home, speaking with the Scottish accent Zelda, the surly farmer in the hat “Make America White” Miller, a local old-storyteller, Hank, nicknamed “Frodo” or “Bilb”, said station employee, three visiting hipster people from a big city – the slow motion of the film revolves around them, the more or less it doesn’t matter. Sure, it’s going wrong, but hey – the world has already seen so much that it’s hard to panic.
Yes, Corpses do not die, they do not rush to the head and neck – but this was not expected after Jarmusch. The problem is that most of the many threads do not go nowhere – they stop at a peaceful, sometimes arduous walk.
And the march itself also disappoints – and it’s not that not much is happening (after all, Jarmusch can tell a lot without great dramas – he was able to contain the whole essence of history in ordinary conversations and banal situations). The thing is that each of the measures taken turns out to be disappointing, if not performed, in overtones.
Tributes and nods to the classics and George Romero, initially charming in their literality and pretentiousness, quickly give the impression of satiety. Jokes and eye blinks, although sometimes funny, are lacking points, come back aimlessly or simply miss. Although everything convinces about self-awareness, accurate irony has not been experienced. Deconstruction fails because it doesn’t surprise. Quotes and references quickly faint, it’s hard to say whether due to their multitude or the usual lack of subtlety (yes, to put it mildly, Jarmusch’s least subtle film – let’s just mention the imperial cruiser with Adam Driver wearing the key ring attached to the keys ). Also, zombies turn out to be again! – a shabby and shallow metaphor for consumerism, and the pro-ecological message, emphasized by the full of truisms closing the film, beats its obviousness and literality on the head.
Jarmusch’s new work is a cluster of elements that do not create a neat structure. Individual micronutrients of the film sometimes provide some value – separately, and perhaps in this form some scenes would do best, due to the excellent acting and a few refreshing breeze of surreal, black humor. Ultimately, however, this is bland, obvious, washed out of subtlety cinema, and everything that Jarmusch values most, here turns out to be banal, expressionless or overwhelming in excess.
Dead men don’t die