Routine but enjoyable.
The French film "La Horde" doesn't exactly bring a fresh approach to the over saturated zombie genre, yet is still entertaining enough for what it is. It benefits from its breakneck pace and intensity, and is just as much about character as it is bloodshed. (Not that it skimps in the gore department at all, though, far from it.) A quartet of detectives - Aurore (Claude Perron), Ouessem (Jean-Pierre Martins), Jimenez (Aurelien Recoing), and Tony (Antoine Oppenheim), find the dead body of a colleague and turn rogue, vowing to avenge his death. Unfortunately, things don't go as planned: first, their quarry, gangster Adewale (Eriq Ebouaney), is able to get the drop on them, and start torturing them, then this big mess becomes an even bigger one when scores upon scores of the living dead start to overwhelm humanity, as the apocalypse seems to have begun. While this is all pretty predictable in terms of the script, "La Horde" does manage to entertain by ensuring that its audience never gets bored. It starts quietly enough, but soon it's kicked itself into a high gear and has stayed there. Some zombie cinema lovers may take exception to the fact that these are very FAST zombies, as well as to the generous array of digital rather than practical carnage, but if you don't concern yourself too much with those elements, you may find this a reasonable viewing experience. The characters, by and large, are NOT sympathetic, including the cops, so the lack of rooting interest may make this hard for some people to follow. Still, as in any film with a similar premise, there is a certain amusement in seeing cops and crooks alike being forced to team up in order to survive - and, as we can see, the crooks aren't completely one- dimensional. The acting is good for this sort of thing. Both Martins and Ebouaney have a formidable screen presence, and Martins has one hell of a great exit where he truly goes down fighting. While "La Horde" may not be among the most stimulating films of its kind - at least in an intellectual way - one could definitely do far worse, as it manages to maintain a fever pitch for much of its duration. Seven out of 10.
- Feb 10, 2013
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