The Dead 2: India (2014)
Director: Howard J. Ford, Jonathan Ford
Writer: Howard J. Ford, Jonathan Ford
Starring: Joseph Millson, Meenu Mishra, Anand Krishna Goyal
In 2010, The Dead released to considerable positive reception. The reasons for it are simple: in a genre so overused, anything original is welcomed with open arms. Putting a zombie apocalypse in Africa was new. Films of that subject are almost always done in an urban, first world environment. This couple with the film’s great practical fx, good acting, and reasonably high brow presentation led to it garnering a sizable following.
This much anticipated sequel almost, but not quite, meets up to its predecessor. The outbreak from the first movie has spread to India. Once again, it’s an original concept for a zombie movie. I can personally think of no other film in the genre that takes place in such a setting. However, where it scores points for originality, it loses them for cliches. The main plot of the movie is about Nicholas, a turbine worker on contract in India, braves 300 miles of zombie infested land to reach his native-Indian girlfriend (who he just found out was pregnant with his child), despite the wishes of her overzealous, xenophobic father. The love story in a zombie apocalypse has been done to death. I mean, dear merciful Cthulhu, that was the main plot of Shaun of the Dead!
That is not to say that this is a bad movie. I would just say that, while the original film was a breath of fresh air, this one smells slightly stale. Slight cliches in the plot aside, this movie still ranks higher than many zombie movies of recent years. Not saying much, perhaps, but there it is.
OK, time for the silver lining. Again, though it never quite manages to achieve the feeling of stark desolation of the first film, we are once seeing another new setting for a zombie apocalypse. And I really like how they tie this infection directly in with with the zombies from the first film. It just ties everything together.
The practical gore is very nicely done. Tons of shots of what had to be very complex prosthetics as we would actually see zombies biting chunks of meat out of people. It was very top notch. No CGI in sight.
The acting was done well enough. I never noticed anything that drew me out of the film significantly. The character Nicholas does spend much of the film traveling cross country alone and so there isn’t too much dialogue there. But overall, what dialogue there is is written and portrayed well enough to be put in the plus category.
Overall, I feel that this movie is best enjoyed as a standalone film. While the tie-in to the first is nice, this one just doesn’t achieve the same results. I recommend watching it at least once to broaden your awareness of zombie films that stand out a bit more than most, but I doubt this sequel will ever achieve the cult status of the original.
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