Oh dear! Oh no! Osombie! This film was reviewed in the very slight hope that it might turn out to be a comedy, or possibly even a musical (the lyrics above might have done for the big finale, don’t you think?). Unfortunately Osombie is none of these, instead taking its subject matter seriously and coming across like a video game with mumbling soldiers who every now and then take a break to soliloquise about some random and relatively uninteresting part of their lives before they ended up in Afghanistan (actually Utah) hunting down the reanimated corpse of Osama Bin Laden.
It’s not that Osombie is especially bad, but it is terribly terribly ordinary. The opening sequence shows the US military killing Bin Laden. He then escapes from the helicopter bringing his body back to the US because he’s shot himself up with the zombie juice that already seems to be affecting most of those around him. The zombie Osama then disappears until the very end of the film and instead we get to focus on a group of soldiers who have apparently been recruited to seek him out, but instead come across as actors working from a script that wants to be the latest in Joss Whedon hip dialogue but actually misses by a mile. Thrown into the mix is Dusty, a yoga instructor from Colorado who is looking for her crazy brother Derek (why isn’t this a comedy?). Derek is busy saving Afghan children and driving a lorry around while blowing up as many zombies as he can. The movie all ends predictably with some CGI explosions and a helicopter with a nice line in improbable landings.
Osombie seemed like such a great idea but unfortunately it has some real problems. It’s a very silly film and the inclusion of a girl relating the story of firefighters dying in the 9/11 attacks about thirty minutes in struck such a wrong note that it was almost turn off the film time, as was the bit in the bunker with actors pretending to be the Taliban and making another propaganda video. Sacha Baron Cohen can just about get away with this sort of thing but this kind of amateurish filmmaking really can’t and probably shouldn’t be trying in the first place. At times this is such rubbish it’s reminiscent of the zombie films of Bruno Mattei (never, ever a good thing). On the plus side the locations are just splendid, the zombie makeups are very good, and the girl soldier with long blonde hair who could wield a sword was quite likeable, even if she was probably wearing too much makeup to be in the US military – unless any of our transatlantic colleagues know better? Otherwise this is pretty awful stuff, with most of the blood effects optically added, a lead character called ‘Chip’ who kept taking his shirt off so often that the expectation was that this was going to turn into a gloriously camp musical any minute, especially when he started wrestling with another shirtless comrade, and too many irrelevant speeches that should have been dropped from what feels like a first draft screenplay that got pushed straight into production. The DVD has no extras at all, for which everyone should be grateful.
JOHN LLEWELLYN PROBERT
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