Classic Movie ReviewsMovie ReviewsClassic Review: Z for Zachariah (2015)

Keith NoakesJuly 10, 2016

Since I’ve started this site, I’ve written a lot of reviews. In case you missed some of my earlier ones, I would like to share an older review of “Z for Zachariah” which originally appeared here.

Following a disastrous event which wipes out most of human civilization, a scientist named John Loomis (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and a mysterious minor named Caleb (Chris Pine) are competing for the affection of a woman named Ann Burden (Margo Robbie) who may be the last woman on earth on a farm somewhere within the southern United States that is seemingly unaffected by the whole crisis. Now they must face the challenge of rebuilding society with the hopes that there could still be more survivors out there.

I will start off by saying that you have to be patient while watching this. Sure it takes a little while before things start to happen but it fits within the film’s story. There are few people left on the planet which does make the excitement level low. I didn’t mind this because I thought the acting all around was very good with Robbie shining as a woman trying to maintain her faith despite the crisis around her. I was surprised by how good her southern accent was considering she is Australian. Ejiofor and Pine were great as Ejiofor’s Loomis came off as real and relatable and Pine’s Caleb creating tension within the relationship between Ann and John. The film is advertised as a sci-fi film but that begins and ends with the offscreen series of events which led to where the characters are at the beginning of the film. The film is more of a study of the human experience or what is like to feel alone and isolated from the world. The film does a great job at this by how beautifully it is shot. I know I’ve often spoken of this but this one does it better than most. Shot in both West Virginia and New Zealand, the film really captured the vastness of the film’s desolate landscape. I felt that its vastness juxtaposed with the few people left really emphasized how alone and isolated they were from the rest of the world. As I mentioned before, not very much happens but what kept me engaged was that I didn’t know how the story was going to go. The writing here was great because of the unpredictable story and the dialogue was also excellent. I thought the characters were real and genuine for the most part with a great degree with depth and the dialogue flowed naturally and seldom felt bad or cheesy. You don’t know how the story is going to go because you are never completely sure of each of the character’s true intentions since they never felt predictable. When it comes to the book (which I didn’t know the film was based on until after I saw it), I cannot speak to how the film compares. That being said, I was not a fan of the end either. Overall, Z for Zachariah is great film that fans of sci-fi and romance will enjoy and it doesn’t beat you over the head with either.

Score: 8/10

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