After a 20 year hiatus, George A Romero, pioneer of the Zombie movie, returns to the director's chair in the fourth instalment of his cult horror series. Since his last film in the series, 1985's "Day Of The Dead", Romero has witnessed the Zombie genre break off in new directions with movies such as "Shaun Of The Dead" and "Bubba Ho-Tep". So is he still the Zombie King?
In this new movie the undead are now the predominant force on the planet while humans live in high-rise, gated communities with the rich, such as Dennis Hopper's ruthless industrialist Kaufman, residing in luxury while the poor scavenge to survive. So when the street-smart punk Cholo (John Leguizamo) decides he's had enough and nicks Kaufman's zombie-fighting truck, a mercenary named Riley (Simon Baker) is dispatched to stop him.
While Romero does a fantastic job at creating a new setting for his genre, the problem "Land Of The Dead" faces is its plot. What is really more of an all out action movie than a fright fest, the film provides great entertainment, but little substance so the end result is a movie with great promise that feels rushed. In previous instalments of the "Dead" saga, Romero has revelled in adding political undertones to his films but "Land Of The Dead's" attempt to providing a cutting social statement seems all too light.
Despite its obvious flaws, including an ending that appears out of nowhere, "Land Of The Dead" is still a thoroughly entertaining picture, boasting loads of gore, quick wit and a host of descent performances. However, while Romero has attempted to create a film that is more accommodating to newcomers of Zombie films, it is debatable if these are enough to mask the weak plot that the film possesses.