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The Crazies: Not Crazy Enough

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For a horror movie to make any impact it has to be either really scary or really believable. The new film The Crazies does not meet either of those criteria. The film is fairly dumb and not scary enough by a long shot. The only thing that makes it slightly watchable is the acting. Timothy Olyphant and Rhada Mitchell head the cast and they are convincing in their roles.

The movie takes place in a farm community in Iowa. David Dutten (Olyphant) is the sheriff and his wife Judy (Mitchell) is the town doctor. Everything seems fairly calm in the town until one day at a high school baseball game the town drunk walks on to the field carrying a gun. He has a vacant stare and when the sheriff tries to get him to put down the gun he acts as if he is going to shoot. The sheriff beats him to the draw.

Later other members of the community start acting strangely. Then the Army shows up and herds everyone on to buses and then to an improvised campsite. There they are divided into groups of contaminated and non-contaminated. Judy is put in the contaminated group.

The rest of the film concerns David trying to get Judy back and then to a safe place. There is also an effort made to try to figure out what is going on. The answer when it comes is pretty shaky.

Problem number one is the contaminated townspeople do not act crazy enough. They look pretty weird but they never act like pure zombies or other creatures. They kind of lumber along killing people with pitchforks, gasoline and guns.

Problem number two is David and Judy's abilities to stay alive. They have more lives than fifty cats and use them up during the course of the film. It isn't always skill and daring that keep them alive. It is more like pure movie luck.

Problem number three is the government being the bad guys. There is no one who seems to be saying we can't kill the whole town. Plus the soldiers appear to be going about their jobs of destruction with relish.

The movie is rated R for violence and profanity.

As mentioned Olyphant and Mitchell make a good hero and heroine but the characters they are playing are basically cartoons. They have unlimited endurance. Judy is pregnant but she can fight off monsters, walk a hundred miles, and still not even bust a sweat. David isn't pregnant but it still strains credibility that he can endure stabbings, pistol whippings, and other attacks and still have energy left over.

If the movie is going to be titled The Crazies then the monsters should really be wildly insane. That isn't the case here. The film could easily have been titled "The Mildly Confused."

I scored "The Crazies" a sane 4 out of 10.

www.jackiekcooper.com