Z for Zachariah Review

“…the movie devolves into a love triangle not unlike one you would see on a soap opera.”

I’m a huge fan of movies that have a post-apocalyptic setting, so as soon as I read the first sentence of the summary for Z for Zachariah, I knew I had to watch it. Z for Zachariah is a movie that takes place after a nuclear apocalypse and it follows a woman named Ann who is doing her best to survive. This all changes when she comes across a man named John, and then a few days later comes across another man named Caleb. What we then see is the relationship between these three characters as they attempt to rebuild the world as they knew it.

With all of that out of the way, I just want to say that this movie is not a movie that lays any importance on the fact that it takes place after the apocalypse. I’m perfectly fine with movies that use a post-apocalyptic setting to tell a deeper story about the people themselves (like The Road), but this movie seems to start off about the apocalypse, then completely forgets about it. I’m not going to spoil the movie, in case you want to watch it yourself, but I am going to talk about why it disappointed me. I want to start off by saying that this movie is by no means a bad film. The acting was good, the writing was good (apart from a few instances that I’ll talk about), and I absolutely loved the feel of the film. That being said, when the movie ended I couldn’t help but feel that nothing had happened. The movie starts off with Ann by herself, then she discovers John. This was an interesting story because there was always this feeling that both of them were hiding something, and neither could be trusted. When Ann then runs across Caleb, the movie devolves into a love triangle not unlike one you would see on a soap opera. This is a particularly well produced and acted soap opera, but I firmly believe that you can’t polish a turd (so to speak). I found myself just not caring about what happened in the story because all it was about was who would end up with Ann. It honestly felt awkward in a lot of scenes (which I’m sure was intentional) watching these three people have this tension among them. This brings me to the point of the acting, which I thought was pretty great. Everybody played their part well and made the movie feel full of life for only having three characters (four if you count the dog, who also gave a great performance). With that being said, there were a few instances throughout the story that seemed rushed. By that I mean, characters would have drastic shifts in their behaviour just to speed along the “story”. This was not only out of pace because it came out of nowhere, but it was also a little upsetting because the movie had more than enough time to set that stuff up. I was surprised to see that this movie was based off of a book (which sounds a lot better according to the summary I read on Wikipedia), but it changed so much of what the book offered. It seems like the story the book presented was only used for the characters names and the name of the movie, and then a third-rate love story was substituted in. One shining positive about this movie was the score. The song that plays over the end credits is an amazing piece of music, that perfectly encapsulated the tone of the film.

Overall Z for Zachariah is a movie with great performances from the three leads, but ultimately falls flat with a story that is uneventful.

I give Z for Zachariah a C

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