Review by Justin Waldman for Mr. Will Wong
First-time Director Henry Hobbs and first-time Screenwriter John Scott 3 make an ambitious debut with Hollywood Icon Arnold Schwarzenegger starring in their debut, Maggie. The Film has had a ton of hype surrounding it ever since it was supposed to (but eventually not) play at TIFF, although we could not help but feel somewhat underwhelmed. That is not because there are any major issues with the Film, it’s just that pre-release buzz would have Genre Fans expecting this to be anything but a Father-Daughter Drama.
The Film focuses on Maggie (Abigail Breslin) as she is bitten by a Zombie and slowly becomes what everyone fears. However, her Father Wade (Arnold Schwarzenegger) being a respected member of the Community with powerful ties, is allowed to keep Maggie at home until she has to be taken into quarantine. The established rules for keeping an infected loved one at home are simple, the second their appetite returns they have to be admitted, their appetite moves from food to flesh. However, Wade loves Maggie too much to allow the Government to take his Child away from him and does everything in his power to keep her at home for as long as he can, the question is when the time comes what Wade will do.
Breslin shines bright in the Titular Role and as her illness slowly progresses, taking a toll on her, we see her gradually accept her fate and try to make the best of the worst circumstances. She conveys this with a magnificent performance that embodies the notion of accepting death and the ultimate sacrifice in her case. On the other hand, Schwarzenegger who typically has played the Action Hero or the Villain in his Films, plays the sympathetic Father who will stop at nothing for his beloved Daughter. This Role is unexpected for Schwarzenegger and his his range is tested here having truly to emote to varying degrees of effectiveness.
Maggie works as a Film if you were not expecting essentially The Walking Dead. Steer clear of any preconceived notions regarding the Film and witness an inspired performance from Breslin.
VVS Films release Maggie in theatres and on VOD on Friday, May 8, 2015.