When you think about it, is there a better place to let loose some rage and bloodshed than in the corporate world? Sure, there are some normal people there but the cold-blooded attitude of big business does not usually lend itself to making too many friends. I’m sure there will be many people with a smile on their face as they watch the chaos unfold throughout the movie.
In essence, that’s what this wonderfully insane comedy/horror/action movie is all about: mowing through corporate bigwigs and office drones thanks to a crazy ass virus and a hilarious legal loophole in every violent way imaginable. Once the setup has been established it’s no holds barred one-liners and death-dealing in many gruesome but hilarious ways. It is great B-movie entertainment that knows exactly what kind of film it is and sticks to that formula from start to finish.
It certainly doesn’t hurt to have the two leads not only understand the kind of movie they’re in but embrace the madness and make it their own. Steven Yeun (Derek) and Samara Weaving (Melanie) are a strange but perfect pair of heroes that ride the wave a chaos created by director Joe Lynch like veterans. They manage to keep the story and the action moving while at the same time delivering some moments of pure anger and frustration that many people could relate to. Of course, not many people take out this anger and frustration with whatever weapons they have at their fingertips but hey, that’s why this is a movie.
The screenplay by Matias Caruso manages to combine the humor and violence in weird and wonderful ways, something that is not that easy to do. Balancing the right kind and amount of jokes while at the same time not going completely overboard in the violence department can be very tricky, but Caruso and director Lynch manage to pull it off and then some. They also understand what kind of movie they are and that confidence is evident as the movie moves back and forth from comedy moments to full-blown B-movie violence and gore.
Once the quick setup is done the movie flows really well, moving from one bit of crazy to the next with wonderfully calculated abandon, with the jokes flying out as quick as the blood does from the many, many bodies left in our heroes wake. Derek and Melanie are the perfect anti-heroes, not really friends in the beginning but joined at the hip in their righteous cause of doing what’s right, or more to the point, doing what is needed to survive. The virus is a wonderful tool to let those powerful emotions fly out and create a nice controlled type of chaos in the office building setting.
There are some moments that really don’t make much sense, some bits of dialogue that seem too forced and unnecessary, but these are minor quips. If you are watching this movie it’s more than likely you understand just what you are in for so thinking too much hardly seems appropriate. Just sit back, let the insanity wash over you and enjoy the ride.
Four stars out of five
- Steven Yeun and Samara Weaving are both excellent in the lead roles
- Great combination of humor and violence
- Mayhem never loses sight of what kind of film it is
- You need to just ignore some plot holes and unnecessary dialogue