Under the Radar
To be perfectly fair, chances are that this title isn't exactly "under the radar" in every sense of the phrase. However, it does seem to be one of those movies that lacks just enough to be forgettable. In fact, this was my second time seeing it, and I can tell you already that it's sort of faded on me. There's sadly just nothing much special or different to take away from it, other than the fact that these kids are fighting off zombies using their scouting skills. Admittedly a cool idea, but perhaps too little too late?
The story in question centers on our three main characters. Your average Joe lead, Ben (Tye Sheridan), your average comedy relief sidekick, Carter (Logan Miller) and your average sypathetic loser, Augie (Joey Morgan). The three are all in Scouts together, but due to the fact that they're high school sophomores, Ben and Carter (mostly Carter) discuss leaving Scouts due to their overall lack of popularity at school. But not before they see their friend, Augie, get his "Condor patch" (which I guess is some graduation badge in this version of Scouts).
Before you can say "Scout's honor", however, a zombie invasion begins to unfold with them in the middle, having to use what they've learned in Scouts in order to survive. Along the way they meet Denise (Sarah Dumont), a badass cocktail waitress who can use a shotgun instead of a slingshot. Hey, every good zombie movie needs a badass! Anyway, the rest of the movie has to do with the four of them trying to get to a frat party in order to save Carter's sister, all the while trying to duck and dodge a zombie invasion.
As I said before, there's not a WHOLE lot that they do new here. It's kinda like taking your average teen comedy and blending it with 'The Walking Dead'. While it remains a fun movie to sit and watch, it lacks in anything that really and truly stands out. The formula with the lead, sidekick and loser boy is reminiscent of something like '21 and Over', while the zombie stuff is about as average as it gets.
Don't get me totally wrong though, there's a few funny lines of dialogue in here. But nothing was said that really got me laughing my ass off or anything like that. Mostly just odd giggles here and there. On top of that, there's not a whole hell of a lot these Scouts do that's interesting. They come into a pretty cool climactic scene using their own weapons, but things could have been a lot cooler. I mean, it's a movie about Boy Scouts fighting zombies, you'd think there was more creativity behind trap-setting and the like.
Anyway, I chose to do this one for "Under the Radar" this week to illustrate an interesting point. This is the last fully mainstream zombie movie I can actually think of. It had it's wide, theatrical release, but didn't last very long at all. I'm sure there has been stuff since that I'm just not thinking of, but this was probably the last attempt at actually trying something fairly new with it. Remember, I said "trying". While it remains a not-so-bad movie, it's not-so-great either. But I wonder if it happens to be the title that really and truly starts putting nails in the coffin. 'The Walking Dead' is still going, but I daresay it doesn't have much further to go, and will be the zombie genre's "last legs" so to speak.
Of course, I'm not exactly an expert on EVERY zombie movie out there, so there's always a very distinct possibility I'm wrong about all that. But with the passing of George A. Romero earlier this year, the man who arguable invented the zombie genre, I wonder; SHOULD it be put to rest? At least until it becomes popular with the next generation?