Maggie ★★½

Henry Hobson’s zombie movie does for coping with terminal illness what Dawn of the Dead did for consumerism, the difference here being that Hobson isn’t interested in satire, only sadness. Oh, and he’s got Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The film begins in the aftermath of a plague that’s referred to as the Turn, a reference to the process by which this incurable virus slowly transforms its victims into feral, flesh-eating transmitters of the contagion. The worst of it is over, but for Wade (Arnold Schwarzenegger), the hell is just beginning. Your typical Kansas City farm boy with the body of an aging gladiator and the accent of a robot sent back in time to prevent the apocalypse, Wade is searching for his eponymous teenage daughter (Abigail Breslin). The moment he finds her, infected and afraid, epitomizes how cleverly the film suffuses the realness of human tragedy with the morbid spark of genre fiction: “She’s going to lose her appetite,” a doctor informs him, “and then she’s going to get it back.”

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