Summer of Schwarzenegger - "Maggie" (2015)
Summer of Schwarzenegger goes out not with a bang, but with... a literal whimper?
Somehow, Maggie is a zombie movie with Arnold that isn't actually about Arnold killing zombies. Which, by the way, is a wasted fucking opportunity. Imagine a Zombieland type of movie, but with Arnold. Can you imagine the one-liners? The self-referential humor? The unadulterated bloody chaos? God. That sounds like a fun movie. Why didn't we get that? We even have Abigail Breslin in this, so we're like... halfway there, right? Right?
Anyway. Maggie. It's a zombie movie about a girl named Maggie, who unfortunately isn't actually played by Arnold. Nope, he plays her grieving father. Why is he grieving? That has a little something to do with the fact that Maggie is turning into a zombie, slowly, and he can't do jack about it. He can try to fight the cops that want to take her away. He can kill other zombies. But none of it'll do anything. Maggie's still going to become a brain-muncher, and he's still going to lose his only kid.
Look, I'll be real with you guys: I'm only being sarcastic and attempting humor here because Maggie is a real fucking downer of a movie. It's a slow, somber, haunting drama that deals with themes of loss, hopelessness and desperation in the face of odds that can't be beaten. Only, unlike other Arnold flicks, these aren't unbeatable odds that he magically beats. Things pretty much go exactly how you'd expect them to, and it's just as sad as the initial premise sounds.
Actually, no. It's way worse. Remember that movie with Steve Carrell? The one about the world ending? Remember how you knew that movie would be sad, but you weren't totally ready for how sad it actually fucking was? Maggie's like that. You know it's going to be a non-stop ride to Bummer City, but you don't see the detours through Time To Be Real Sad City and No They Fucking Wouldn't Town coming. But by the time it's over, it's too late. You're wrecked. It's fucking finished. You're fucking dead, kiddo.
|Pictured: Your emotions on this movie.|
But damn, he manages to do tragic bullshit really fucking well. This is a guy whose acting is usually made fun of and mocked, but here, he plays "dad who doesn't want to shoot his daughter in the head but also doesn't want to watch her die slowly" pretty well. Even with his signature accent, you really feel like he's Breslin's dad, and you feel all of his hurt, all of his pain, all of his internal conflict. It's arguably the most nuanced performance of his entire career. Maybe not Oscar-bait or anything, sure, but still damn fine in its own right. Plus, there's the whole added sadness of "this guy's usually a happy fun guy and now he's sad and that makes me sad," too.
Anyway. This is Maggie, Arnold's latest (outside of Genisys, which I already reviewed and really liked,) and it's a fucking downer. It's a pretty low note to end on, but hey, maybe that's fitting. After years and years of being the big, fun action star, Arnold's getting older. A little more mature, perhaps. Maybe his years of gallivanting and funny antics are ov-
Oh. Well may-
Well, see you in 2017, folks!