The world has been overwhelmed by a spontaneous disease outbreak that turns healthy humans into vicious and dangerous predators. All cities have been evacuated, and radiation bombs have been used to kill all those who have been infected. These bombed areas are now deemed a “Dead Zone“. Now we follow an elite group of soldiers who receive intel that the game has changed to a new level. One town, which has been labelled a Dead Zone, is rumoured to have test faculty working on a vaccine that may heal humans who have been affected. However, there’s just one catch. Intel suggests that even though the town has been bombed with radiation, the infected have somehow survived and are roaming free as flesh-eating zombie-like creatures. Equipped with the latest technology and weaponry, the elite team is led by a man codenamed Boss (Michael Jai White). Now, this elite team must work together and conduct a stealthy mission unlike anything they’ve ever done; however, entering this town will be like walking around the grounds of hell.
Dead Zone is an action-packed movie with horror themes. The film follows in the same footsteps of titles such as Resident Evil and Doom. Sadly, there isn’t much to say about the leading character. There’s no decent backstory or any real introduction other than that all the men are elite, skilled, and strong. Boss is given the most backstory, but it’s still not much. Even when he reconnects with an old friend and some backstory is given, audiences won’t have any reason to care for any of the leads.
As a film, Dead Zone is bland, dark and dull; however, visuals are only one of the issues. The film style here is jerky and jumpy. It doesn’t matter whether it’s an action sequence consisting of gunfire or watching our leading soldiers striking up their next plan; the camera is constantly moving and jumping around, failing to maintain steady focus for the vast majority. The camera work is atrociously painful and bad enough that I almost walked away from the film entirely. It’s darn near impossible not to be distracted by it.
Thankfully, not everything about Dead Zone is torture. The technology side of things does have its creative moments, and elite soldiers’ suits look like fun and carry an appeal. That being said, there are many close-up shots of characters talking while wearing their high-tech helmets, which is an instant carbon copy of what many saw with Marvel’s Iron Man. The film is special effects heavy, and some visual effects work well. By contrast, others are laughable, including a helicopter spotted in the background near the film’s introduction. The musical score is overbearing and only cheapens the film dramatically. Actor Michael Jai White is doing everything he can here, delivering various one-liners and pulling out the odd kick and punch in an attempt to raise the tone or transform it into brainless entertainment. Sadly, even with Michael Jai White‘s efforts, it’s not enough to recommend this film.
Overall, Michael Jai White vs flesh-eating zombies? Sign me up! However, having seen the film, I can confirm that movie lovers need to drop a radiation bomb on this feature and run fast away from it. Dead Zone is a significant misfire lacking enjoyable characters and utilising one of the worst styles of filming I have seen in some time. Sure, we have some zombies and a film that feels like Resident Evil and Doom; for some, that’s enough. However, Dead Zone is an all-around disappointment with overbearing music, which cheapens the entire film and technology that feels more like a carbon copy that would make Tony Stark frown. Dead Zone (2022) is Available on DVD & Digital from March 8th!