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Arnold Schwarzenegger comforts Abigail Breslin in 'Maggie'

'Maggie' is Admissible Without Being Wholly Thrilling

JamesArthurArmstrong JamesArthurArmstrong Maggie begins at the tail end of a zombie apocalypse. Wade's daughter has been bitten and in a few weeks she'll turn into a zombie. It's a pleasure to see Schwarzenegger being casted as an older, responsible father, and not his stereotypical heroic action star we're accustomed to watching. This new dialled back characterisation is a neat style for Arnie, who brings depth to a fairly subdued zombie movie.

interesting input into the zombie mythos

Maggie Vogel (Abigail Breslin) is calling her dad. She's trapped in the city as a curfew is in effect. She urges him not to come looking for her, and tells him she loves him. Most of the global population has been plagued by the Necroambulist virus that turns people into zombies. Maggie's father Wade (Arnold Schwarzenegger) goes out searching for his daughter. Maggie is taken by armed officials and placed in an area at the hospital with other infected people. She has a bite wound on her arm, and the infection is going to gradually spread throughout her body. Wade is allowed to take Maggie home to settle her affairs until the virus progresses to the point where she must be quarantined. From here on in, Maggie is a movie about a father preserving the last moments with his daughter and suffering in considerable agony at the sight of her decline.

Its a pretty slow and bleak tale from start to finish. It has an unabashed independent feel to its photography with large portions — if not the entire film — shot in a naturalistic way. At times this approach works and makes Maggie seem contemporary, but a story such as this doesn't need to be dictated by its style. In the realms of zombie movies, it's genuinely satisfying to see a director approach the threadbare narrative from a new point of view. It's solely focussed on the post-zombie apocalypse outbreak. It's director Henry Hobson's debut movie and he's allowed to be experimental with how he addresses the story and production aspect of the film. But, what I must applaud Hobson on is not having the movie consummately dominated by Schwarzenegger. It's surprising how little he is in the film: he isn't in every frame and the story isn't totally reliant on his character. Even though Maggie doesn't fire on all fronts, it has a interesting input to the zombie mythos. As an overall package of an hour and a half worth of entertainment, its admissible without being wholly thrilling.

What If I Hurt You in New Clip from 'Maggie' Starring Arnold

schwarzenegger gives us something different

When I first heard about Maggie I wondered what the story could end up being. The first trailer landed and it was nice to see Schwarzenegger tackle a more serious, dramatic role, but I couldn't help but ponder over why he would do such a film. Having said that, his approach to the character actually works within the narrative. He gives a very sombre and emotional performance. He plays dejected very well and uses his eyes to project emotions from within himself on to the audience. It's a particularity strong outing for Arnie. He showcases great empathy of a father slowly watching his daughter die in front of him. We're so used to seeing him be the ultimate masculine hero, and its a testament to Schwarzenegger that he's willing to take the plunge and be this vulnerable and helpless man in a fairly bleak movie.

For anyone who is a big Arnie fan expect different, yet pleasing results from Maggie. But, if you're an Arnie fan who loves his action movies and expects more of the same, then maybe stay clear. I have mixed reactions regarding this movies narrative, however, I do have admiration for Schwarzenegger who has clearly made a conscious decision to test new waters. You may say its a little late in the day to try new avenues within your craft, but its better late than never. The decision must've been cooked up fairly recently. Arnie isn't getting any younger and we'll forever remember him as The Terminator, Conan the Barbarian, and his turns in Predator, True Lies and Total Recall. In those films, he always cut the figure of a giant, muscle bound superhero, but now he's getting older. Like any top sportsmen, your days at the top of the mountain are limited and eventually your skills diminish with an inevitable decline in performance. But what makes top athletes stay that little longer at the summit is tweaking their skills, and focussing on the attributes that make them stand-out, making it their focal point when they perform. Schwarzenegger is merely doing the same in Maggie. He's dipping his toe in the water and seeing if he can adjust his performance as a dramatic lead. But I have a funny feeling he hasn't quit said goodbye to the ripped heroic movie star we all know and used to admire.

Official Trailer for 'Maggie'

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