Wanting desperately to be Zach Snyder's Dawn of the Dead, this other remake of a much lesser known Romero flick has moments of pure pleasure, sandwiched between the invariable clichés and generally ropey scripting. Still, Sahara helmer Breck Eisner does a fine job giving the film scale, while he also manages to soak the opening twenty minutes or so in some seriously unsettling atmosphere. Sure, it all goes tits up as soon as things really kick off, but this is still a surprisingly enjoyable genre effort.
he immensely underrated Timothy Olyphant is the Sheriff of a small town in Iowa, where some of the locals have begun acting a little loco, and then downright homicidal. After he shoots a previously harmless farmer for aiming a shotgun at him in the middle of a baseball game, and then deals with a horrific case of domestic abuse, he and his pregnant wife find themselves in the middle of a military operation. Along with a couple of survivors, they must try to get out of their once sleepy town alive.


here's a balance to be struck with any remake, but given the minority of folk who will have seen Romero's original, dramatic licence was a given. Eisner makes the scares work, and knocks the muted intensity of the early stages out of the park, but that can't help The Crazies from feeling extremely choppy.
e meet the characters before they're given any time to endear themselves, so we must get to know them amidst the violent opening and subsequent carnage. This is something that's never easy for an actor to do, but Olyphant makes his ponderous sleepy town Sheriff work anyway.
hose that find themselves really drawn in by the eerily effective opening may be disappointed by the more action orientated core, and you might not always buy these characters for the decisions they make. But The Crazies manages to be entertaining and jolty, doing a decent job of blending genres, without finding that cohesion overall.