Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse (2015)

scouts

Fast, fun and foolish, this zom-com is entertaining for what it is but doesn’t really dazzle as it could. I was truly hoping for something a little more special considering the madcap title of the movie but it’s just another expected zombie run with laughs thrown in.

Three long time friends who are also scouts are witness the more eager member gain his Condor Patch but it happens to be on the night of a big party which they attempt to sneak off to. Not only is betrayal on the cards but a big fat dose of a zombie outbreak to really test the friends connection. The scouting trio must unite with each other and a cocktail waitress to kill the zombies.

Tackled by four writers, this film is a crazy bunch of ideas hurled together in one almost tiring feature. It comes across that perhaps too many cooks spoil the broth as you could imagine the four writers all coming up with their own ideas, yet at least the vision stays intact. A town on the edge of doom with zany killings stays consistent from start to finish. Carrie Evans, Christopher B Langdon, Emi Mochizuki and Lona Williams are the brains behind the outfit and zombies to like brains but these ones aren’t as smart as they’d had the chance to be.

The set up is good, great even, with a doofy dance to Iggy and Rita Ora setting the tone of the film. The whole zombie idea isn’t really explained of how it came to be but heck you buy into it because that’s this sort of film that needs no backstory. The only thing is how quickly the town succumbs to the zombie virus, literally in the time it takes two of the scouts to leave the woods, they find their home town deserted. Once the set up is done anything is fair game and though I know it’s meant to be silly, this film comes to a point where it grows an effort to watch it continue.

This movie follows an expected trail that not just these scouts can track. Every character is cliched and does what you’d expect, the ending is so bad in just being predictable and unrealistic, the only saving grace comes in the full strobe lit whack of the final showdown in the party warehouse. There’s moments that feel forced or go on to long making it seem that a literal tumbleweed could bounce through at any second. The quest for sex and this coming of age tale work as all these teen films manage to do but sadly it’s not a thorough or unique guide to flick through.

Tye Sheridan is actually a believable and charming lead, firmly pushed into the nervous yet full of potential character model he takes us through the film with ease and gives me hope in his future portrayal of a young Cyclops. Logan Miller gets quickly, very quickly may I add to the junction of annoyance and doesn’t really come back. He’d suit the younger audiences and in fact the screening I was in, he proved that with teens guffawing at every stoner-esque line he quipped. Sarah Dumont is an interesting character with not much chance to show off that interest. The actress is clearly hot, kick-ass and likable but she just comes in for fights and uninspired advice for Sheridan’s Ben to take on. David Koechner has a couple of funny moments in his dweeby nature of being the scout master but then keeps coming back for no reason apart from who the actor is and trying to give him more scenes.

I feel this film could have given a whole lot more, not just crazy cats, zombies on trampolines and boobs, but an interesting new spin on a zom-com. It ends up being too teen and annoying. The film doesn’t get close to earning a badge for comedy but it certainly does for immaturity.

5.5/10

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