Arnie does indie? Well, sorta.
You may have heard that “Maggie,” the tiny-budget movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, is a zombie flick. That’s true but not the whole story. It’s set in an apocalyptic future where the human race is being slowly wiped out by a disease that turns people into man-eating undead.
The difference from most zombie movies is that this transformation doesn’t take seconds, but weeks or even months. Schwarzenegger plays Wade, a tough old farmer whose teen daughter (Abigail Breslin) has become infected. He brings Maggie home to care for her during her final days.
His second wife (Joely Richardson) isn’t happy about the threat Maggie poses to them and their younger children. Meanwhile, the local authorities drop by to warn Wade that they’ll be coming to collect her for quarantine when the time comes … with the strong hint that maybe he should just take care of things himself.
Wade’s an old-school kind of guy, who drives the same truck for decades and believes family takes care of its own, no matter what. Faced with inevitability, he harries and fumes at his dilemma, knowing what he must do but unable to summon the courage.
It’s a great concept, and Schwarzenegger shows that after 40 years on-camera he’s got some dramatic acting chops he never got to display before. But director Henry Hobson and screenwriter John Scott III needed to take the idea further. It feels like the movie is missing a second act, the bridge to an ending we know is coming.
“Maggie” ends up as more a slow character study than a compelling tale.
Bonus features are pretty good. There’s a commentary track with director Hobson. That’s nice, but it would’ve been terrific to have Schwarzenegger on there with him talking about tackling this kind of role at this stage of his career. There are cast and crew interviews, a making-of featurette and a single deleted scene.