THE DRIVER ** Thailand 2019 Dir: Wych Kaosayananda. 97 mins
Years into a zombie apocalypse, one man and his family lose their safe place due to a betrayal within the community. After another tragic event and being fatally bitten, the father (Mark Dacascos) has to drive his 12yr old daughter Bree (Noelani Dacascos) far up north to a safe place called Haven before he turns.
Annoyingly we welcome yet another zombie movie that crams in every cliche from the genre whilst once again putting the zombies in as a bit of an afterthought. They don’t even look very good which makes my heart sad. If they had just reined things in a bit and thought about it properly this may have turned out better. Instead they opted for large, over the top fight scenes that went on far too long. The plot goes along these lines: Father has high status in a well to do community which very quickly gets raided by bandits arranged by that shifty bloke on the inside whos only excuse for it is that “you never let me drive”- big family tragedy- Dad gets bit- Dad gets daughter to safety whilst trying to teach her how to drive and shoot all before he turns. Don’t forget to insert internal monologues and long speeches about love, hope and family and oh shit, we probably should stick a few zombies in there as well.
Unfortunately the acting doesn’t help matters either with all of the cast looking about as bored with it as us the viewers. Some characters are likeable enough but many of them just appear and disappear without a second thought about them. The family combo of Mark Dacascos, his real life wife Julie Condra and daughter Noelani cast as the main family is sweet but decidedly luke warm to start with.
As I said the action scenes are big, very well choreographed with impressive pyrotechnics and effects so you really see where the budget went here. Plus as its called THE DRIVER you would expect it to have some sort of expensive car at the forefront and it does with a very swish looking BMW coupe taking up more screen time than the zombies do. The zombies only appear in small handfuls or individually and really arent very threatening at all. They are the faster type and are very sensitive to sound so as long as you have a loud noise distracting them they are not much of a problem. They opted for a ZOMBIE LAKE style of make up with blue/green face paint and loads of lumpy stuff stuck on, but only on the face, they seem to have forgotten about other exposed extremities and on close up you can see every gap. There is no gore to speak of the zombies only bite they don’t tear or feast on anyone and the only weapons used are guns so there is only a bit of blood. The soundtrack is different and very enjoyable though. It does have a few moments that work but it tries too hard and falls short by trying to cram every aspect in that they think should be in a zombie movie whilst at the same time completely missing the point of what a zombie movie should be.
Review by Sarah Budd