Arnold Schwarzenegger stars in Maggie along alongside Academy Award Nominee Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine), Joely Richardson (Nip/Tuck), and J.D. Evermore (Dallas Buyers Club).

Schwarzenegger plays Wade Vogel, a husband and father who searches for his eldest daughter, Maggie (Breslin), only to find her in a hospital after being bitten and thus infected with a viral disease known as Necroambulist which turns human beings into zombies. With strong will power and defiance, Maggie tries to fight her condition while her father fights to hang on to his daughter and keep her from the authorities who insist on sending her to quarantine.

Schwarzenegger hasn’t starred in a horror themed film since his role in End of Days (1999), choosing instead to focus on action films like The Terminator series and The Expendables. And while Maggie is based on a post apocalyptic zombie pandemic, it has an emotional depth to it that sets it apart from other zombie related films.

The father daughter connection is undeniable and even though Wade has two other children he never shows signs of giving up on Maggie. His love for his daughter is unconditional, and while we wonder if his love overshadows his common sense we can’t help but want him to keep fighting for more time with his her. Maggie never hints at a cure for the virus. It never gives the audience hope that Maggie will make it. The virus is fast acting but is progressive over time and gives us time to see Maggie transform into a zombie rather than instantly like viewers might be used to. This element of the film is why there is a more emotional connection. The pacing gives us the feel that the virus could be any disease or cancer rapidly taking over someone’s body. It doesn’t just bring about a zombie apocalypse. It is a tragic and harrowing plague that affects those affected and unaffected.

Schwarzenegger did a good job at playing Wade. He never tried to overcompensate by being overly dramatic on screen, even though there was one scene where I swear he tried his hardest to shed a tear and failed. Breslin is audacious as Maggie. I would have liked a bit more intensity from her in the role, but overall she delivered.

As a smaller film than Schwarzenegger and Breslin are used to, the production was clearly shaky and choppy at moments, hinting heavily to its lower budget, but it was fitting and believable. Maggie was refreshingly sentimental. I found myself in tears in the silent moments. The glitz and glamour was left at the door and I think Maggie was a better film for it. As director Henry Hobson’s debut film and Schwarzenegger’s return to a more touching acting role, Maggie is a good choice to pop into the player any night of the week.

Maggie is available to watch on Blu-Ray DVD and VOD and will be theatrically released on July 24th in the UK.


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