Wednesday, November 08, 2023

As We Know It, Co-Starring Pam Grier

Since this zombie apocalypse (supposedly set in the 1990s) is linked to contaminated soy milk, the Midwest should have time to prepare their defenses, whereas Los Angles is most likely lost. Unfortunately, that is where James Bishop and his schlubby buddy Bruce “Springstine” are holed up. They understand the world is ending, but they still do not feel any great sense of urgency in Josh Monkarsh’s slacker zombie comedy As We Know It, which releases Friday in theaters.

Bishop has been too busy stewing over his break-up with girlfriend Emily and grinding away at his latest derivative science fiction novel to notice the apocalyptic news, so loyal Bruce pedals in on his BMX bike, to try to coax him to a more fortified shelter. However, when they realize Bruce arrived too late, they hunker down and order wings from the only takeout place still delivering. Then Emily pops in to make things even more awkward, which Bishop does not appreciate.

As We Know It
might be the talkiest zombie movie ever. There are some shuffling zombies, but the jokes are mostly derived from the characters’ deadpan, slightly neurotic responses to the situation. It is amusing, in a low-impact kind of way, but anyone expecting a lot of brain-eating, head-smashing action will be disappointed.

In some ways,
As We Know It definitely feels like a throwback to the 1990s. Had it been released back then, it would have garnered a monster cult following. However, anyone who saw a half dozen or so of the zombie comedies that came out post-Walking Dead will find pleasant, but somewhat familiar.

Still, Oliver Cooper gets a lot of laughs as “Springstine,” the sidekick who eclipses his best friend. Mike Castle gamely serves as his straight man, playing the fastidious and not fully self-aware Bishop. However, there are some memorable supporting turns, including the legendary Pam Grier playing Cooper’s cool landlady, Ms. Jones, and Chris Parnell, chewing the scenery as pompous local news reporter, Ted Sommers.

This is an enjoyable little film if you do not pay to watch it.
As We Know It is likable, but light-weight. It is all very nice (despite some appealingly dark jokes), but zombie fans can safely wait on it. (I’d still rather watch it twice in a row at full ticket price than sit through The Marvels once.) Recommended as something to consider down the road, As We Know It opens Friday (11/10) in New York at the Look Dine-In Cinemas W57.