For Reel

Z for Zachariah (2015)
September 8, 2015, 8:16 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Craig Zobel
2.5 Stars
Z for ZachariahZ for Zachariah concerns two cataclysmic events, two apocalypses. The first, of course, is the disaster that’s wiped out the whole of civilization save for three known survivors. The second has much to do with a failure of a morality in the new world, where the simple fact of jealousy tears the survivors apart. In short, the near-extinction of man is followed by the fall of man. Unfortunately, director Craig Zobel’s telling is a few steamy sex scenes removed from a bonafide sexual psychodrama, failing to capitalize on the heavier themes that it flirts with. Great personal revelations relating to the character’s pasts don’t amount to anything. Race is addressed in the central love triangle in a single, memorable line that ultimately is thrown away. Worse yet, when the third of the survivors (Chris Pine) arrives in the film, the post-apocalyptic setting becomes an afterthought. The urgency is lost, and it is with almost comical precision that the three construct a beautiful, perfectly functional water wheel without the need for trial-and-error. Chiwetel Ejiofor is the best thing the film has going for it–he’s an actor who finds an effective balance between revealing his character through small gestures and unloading in Richard Burton-like neurotic outbursts. The first half of the film involves some compelling interactions between he and Margot Robbie, but Pine’s arrival derails it all in a hurry.

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