GROUND ZERO, thank the gods, is more than just a zombie movie. The last thing we need around here is just another zombie movie. (Unless it’s just another found footage movie or just another … ) This is a zombie movie, and then some. It’s just as much a crime picture, specifically, the one-last-job-gone-wrong crime story. In this case, the criminals in question are “cleaners” – body disposal and clean-up professionals. They’re our main characters and you’ll get to like them, probably pretty quickly. It’s another feather in GROUND ZERO’s gross cap. The auxiliary characters also work well, one of whom provided me the biggest laugh; yes, GROUND ZERO has a functioning as well as clever sense of humor. I went into GROUND ZERO fairly cold, knowing little about it. When it turned into a zombie movie half an hour or so in, I was not dismayed, as I might have been had I been greeted from the get-go with a zombie horde or some such. GROUND ZERO isn’t that kind of movie. It’s a small scale peek at zombies, focused on character and story rather than mass apocalypse. Good characters and good story, I might add. (It’s even smaller scale than Romero’s original “Night of the Living Dead.”) One could say this is a crime film that just happens to involve zombism, as long as one understands that the zombies aren’t incidental to the plot, either. That would have been as much a mistake as just filming plotless teeth-snapping, jaw-champing zombie mobs for an hour-and-a-half. Some might not like that GROUND ZERO takes its time getting to the undead, but the cleaner characters are as interesting as the zombie scenario. Concerning that scenario, however, it must be said that combining cleaners with zombism is a smart stroke, as smart as the writing. And said writing is bolstered up by good performances. All around a terrific showing.
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