The Lazarus Effect – Let It Die – Review

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Courtesy Relativity

The Lazarus Effect does have one redeeming quality.  It ends quickly.

Olivia Wilde and Mark Duplass star as Zoe and Frank – two medical researchers who may have made a discovery that can change life as we know it.  Along with Clay (Evan Peters) and Niko (Donald Glover), the team has been experimenting with ways to bring the dead back to life, and Eva (Sarah Bolger) has been filming it all (thankfully, this does not become another found footage movie).

Rocky The Dog (Cato) receives the first successful injection of a special serum the gang has developed, and it brings this pooch back from Doggie Heaven!

Over the next few days, as they monitor Rocky, everyone has to agree that dog ain’t right.

He has no interest in eating.

He blankly stares into space with a listlessness reminiscent of a teenager on a Saturday morning.

Then, out of nowhere, Rocky gets all aggressive and angry (also, like a teenager on a Saturday morning).

Zoe and Frank are forced to replicate the experiment when all of their data and video footage is taken by the corporation funding the study, and even Rocky knows this is a bad idea.  During the attempt, Zoe dies in a lab accident, and Frank, who is engaged to this luscious lab partner, decides they must use the serum to bring her back to life.

Uh-oh.

If they just injected me with Diet Pepsi instead of the serum, maybe I could spring back to life, too!

Somewhere in the middle of this mess you might find an interesting movie, but director David Gelb along with writers Luke Dawson and Jeremy Slater weren’t able to put it on the screen.  None of them seem very interested in telling a coherent, logical story in The Lazarus Effect.  Just because this is some sort of horror/fantasy movie doesn’t mean they can just chuck common sense to the wind, but they try anyway.

Once Zoe is brought back to life, Gelb and company seem more interested in stuff happening, rather than developing logical plot advancements.  They would rather present some gruesome way of killing off each person in the lab rather than think this through and give Zoe some reason why she wants to do this stuff or provide some rational expansion or explanation of her powers.

She doesn’t evolve.  Zoe just starts doing all sorts of freaky stuff to each person because Gelb and company know stuff has to happen, so they make stuff happen.  If the creative team behind this one thinks it will look super cool on screen, it’s going to happen, whether it makes sense or not.

Wilde, Duplass, Peters, and Glover roll with the punches and make The Lazarus Effect palatable with their ability to derive a laugh here and there or display the correct amount of fear when they are in danger.  Even Bolger is game as the damsel in distress, even though we don’t need a damsel in distress.  We already have three dudes, and they appear to be in enough distress for everyone.

No serum can save The Lazarus Effect.

1waffles_sml1 Waffle (Out Of 4)

The Lazarus Effect is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of horror violence, terror and some sexual references.

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