Pontypool (2008)

2Star

Pontypool (2 Out of 5 Graves)

Pontypool starts out strong with Stephen McHattie playing Grant Mazzy, a one time big market radio host apparently starting over in a smaller market. Mchattie carries the move easily with his performance. He is a strong, powerful actor.  I never read the novel (it’s on my list) but I have to imagine that the source material from Tony Burgess is mostly to blame for the lackluster finish to the story.

The tale starts strong and builds suspense nicely. There are strange things going on in town, and as weird as it seems, Grant Mazzy isn’t so sure he’s just not the new guy getting hazed, at least not at first. There are several genuine laughs, and McHattie hits every facial expression perfectly. The looks of disbelief, WTF, and shock are done perfectly. He has a strong supporting cast who played more minor, but equally important rolls. The fact that they built so much suspense while showing so little of the actual “zombies” until late in the movie spoke to how well done the first two thirds were done.

So what was the hiccup?  Why a two your saying?

The finish. The end. The conclusion. The build up to the reveal. And the reveal wasn’t that great. It was a half baked cake. Laurel-Ann (Georgina Reilly) kicks it off with a well done frozen freaky pose, then the good doctor appears to help narrate what is going on.

This is about where the movie jumps the shark. The concept seemed cool *Spoiler Alert* – infected language.  But there has to be more to it than that. It’s infected and makes you want to spread it, and you happen to eat people in the process? Doh, WTF happened? It just spun out of control while doing a really horrible job of trying to explain what happened. I’d rather have had the old Satan is using it to take them over explanation, as at least that is true to itself in some strange way. The life out of nothing viral language zombie explanation felt really poorly thought out.

And thus, a well done, powerfully acted movie with a great start finished with a two.