Jim Jarmush is one of a small, select number of directors whose films I'll go out of my way to see - though in his case there are not nearly enough of them. With an ultra-dry sense of humour which accords well with what I've been told is my own, you either 'get him' or you don't - and the audience I saw this with clearly did, I'm happy to say. Bit disappointing, then, that although this film did have its moments (at least two LOLs for me) I wouldn't class this as one of his more successful efforts.
The Earth's axis has tilted a bit further on its side due to man's polar fracking, which plays havoc with daylight hours. This causes the buried dead to resurrect out of their graves as human-flesh eating zombies (but of course!) - actually globally, though here we're just seeing the first manifestations of the phenomenon in small town Centerville (filmed in NY state) where Bill Murray and Adam Driver are peacefully cruising around looking for signs of trouble in Sleepytown, first encountering a forest-dwelling, luxuriantly bearded hermit (Tom Waits - dreadfully underused) whose hostile reception convinces them to leave him alone to his own devices. The third member of the town's entire police team is Chloe Sevigny, holed up in the offices looking after communications. Other miscellaneous residents include Steve Buscemi (wearing a "Make America White Again" cap) and Danny Glover, meeting up for coffee in the only cafe for miles around - and Tilda Swinton as a Scottish, Buddhist-meditating, sword-wielding, funeral parlour owner.
When the (un)dead start making their presences known in grisly fashion the three cops are totally at a loss to know how to deal with this situation, phone and radio reception to the outside world being made unreliable by the new global conditions. Having ascertained how to dispose of the unwelcome resurrected invaders ("Kill the head!") they are soon overwhelmed by the numbers involved while wood-hermit Tom Waits has little else to do but watch unfolding events from afar, usually through binoculars. Incidentally, it's curious that very nearly all the zombies are middle aged at oldest, a strangely high proportion being young adults, adolescents or even children. So why did they all die so young in the first place? Won't spend any more time thinking about that.
There are some of Jarmush's trademark deadpan deliveries and exchanges to keep us amused, with Bill Murray getting increasingly frustrated at Adam Driver's pearls of wisdom being plucked out of nowhere - and a bizarre episode near the end when the Tilda Swinton character is.....erm....'taken away'.
It's fairly enjoyable stuff, but I did leave wanting more. I needed an 'oomph' factor which never really came. However, as an unusual diversion from standard fayre I'd rate it as just about passing muster............6.5.
(IMDb......................6 / Rott. Toms..............2.61/5 )
2 hours ago