Now, just to preface this mini review, I'm a huge fan of Jane Austen's novel. I've read Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice seven times. It's the only novel I've loved enough to read that many times.
So you can imagine my trepidation going into this movie.
That said, the silliness of it, the originality of the zombie story itself and the zombie mythos, and the superb cast exceeded all my expectations. The stylishness of the film, the cinematography and the fight choreography were all excellent, in my estimation.
Although it takes extreme liberties with the characters from Austen's work, I found it amusing to see how certain story-lines were changed to fit around and incorporate the zombie apocalypse and pleasantly surprised by how original it all was. The zombie aspect, and the time period, reminded me more of the anime Attack on Titan than Pride and Prejudice actually.
Additionally, I liked the spin on the "smart zombie" styled zombie story. Usually I don't like "smart" zombies or "fast" zombies, and this had both, but they were used to great effect. I liked that the villain was a real villain and I liked the women saving the pretty men constantly throughout the film. When Jane Bennet jumps on Mr. Bingley toward the end of the film and saves him, then they share a kiss, I couldn't help but smile at the fun way in which the damsel saved the gentleman in distress. The strong feminism of Jane Austen's original novel comes out in a slightly different way in Seth Grahame-Smith's rendition. But it's surely no less enjoyable.
Although the film kept a serious tone throughout, the movie is so outlandish that you can enjoy it for what it is -- a fun, silly and certainly unrealistic zombie romp. Just like the World War Z film which far exceeded my expectations, this film did too. In more ways than one.
And although I still love the original source material more (of course I do), it's just that this movie was so well done, such brainless fun (to make a horrible pun), that I couldn't help but love it for what it was. And anyone who doesn't like it because it "ruined" one of their favorite books obviously are taking things wayyy too seriously. You don't compare a parody to an original and complain because the parody isn't an exact carbon copy of the original. That doesn't make any sense. Parodies are parodies for reasons that distinguish them from the original. That's how you have to judge it... as a parody. And it's a silly, fun, parody at that. I'd definitely recommend it to zombie fans and fans of well crafted cinema.