SOLDIER OF WAR is a Refreshing Take on a Tired Genre
If you know me, you probably know that I’m mostly sick to death of zombie media. There’s nothing wrong with it, I’ve just felt so inundated with zombie movies and TV in the last decade that I feel like there aren’t many unique directions people are willing to take the genre. Don’t get me wrong, there are good bit of zombie flicks that I do really love! But most fall into a fairly formulaic trap, and that’s where I lose interest. Soldier of War, on the other hand, doesn’t fall into any of those traps and is an engaging watch for the discerning zombie film fan.
John Adams’ Soldier of War follows two British police officers investigating a string of accidents and murders in the British countryside. What starts as two teenage boys stumbling on a hidden underground bunker turns into an all out murdering spree by an undead WWII soldier out to kill who he presumes are the Nazis he couldn’t brutalize in life.
To be honest, this movie felt like more of a police procedural and crime thriller at first than anything. But I don’t have any complaints about that. I really love those types of crime dramas and the added tense moments throughout made it all the more intriguing. On top of that, the police investigation really does feel realistic. I went into this movie only knowing that it was a zombie soldier flick and as far-fetched as the premise seemed, the mundane police work still felt interesting and realistic. This movie feels organic, and writers John and Peter Adams did an excellent job in making it feel so.
Oh, and did I mention Jonathan Rhys-Davies is in this? Because he is. And he’s awesome, as usual. His character is a veteran who served in WWII. Only he can talk down the undead version of his army buddy. I wanted to see more of him in this film, but he gives a compelling performance that only lends more credence to the already tight script.
I wish this film weren’t marketed as a zombie film, though. It’s such an interesting take on the genre, for sure, but I feel like the killer being a zombie was the big twist toward the end. If I had no knowledge of this film and hadn’t seen the poster with the zombie character front and center, I would have taken much longer to put the pieces together and probably would have had more fun with this already fun film. However, that doesn’t sour this movie for me at all; like I said, I had a blast while knowing the premise.
This is one of the few zombie movies I’ve seen that doesn’t involve some apocalyptic crisis as a plot point, the zombie just is. They don’t go into much detail about why he’s undead, and while I found myself asking about his origins, I was able to put that in the back of my mind and enjoy the movie. Overall, this is a great breakaway from the rest of the zombie sub-genre that’s engaging and just a blast to watch. For those of you feeling as burnt out as I do on zombie films, I highly encourage you give this one a try.
SOLDIER OF WAR will be available through VOD March 3 and DVD April 9.