Sunday, 9 December 2012


Welcome back to the Schrödinger picture.

The new LHC+Higgs+Zombie film is now available to watch....

The production values are high for the budget, and the "28-Days-Later"-esque music is brilliant...

.... but the depiction of women in film takes another blow.

The heroine, Amy, is initially a patchwork creation of chummy tomcat (so that she can hang out with the cool boy physicists) and emotional kitten, brilliantly squealing "The Higgs wouldn't do that!", like some highschool cheerleader who has just been told that her leather-jacketed rebel boyfriend is not so much a bad penny as a full-on mass-murdering psychopath, and then, shockingly, appallingly, jaw-droppingly, breezes over the fact that she was date raped less than 24 hours previously by one of the excruciatingly one-dimensional physicists she is trapped with in the LHC.

Am I suggesting that women are so weak as to be utterly unable to overcome such an experience? Am I suggesting that Amy should have been a blubbering mess from start to finish? Not at all. I'm suggesting that the writer threw this crass line into his film without any thought for what it would mean to the character and because he thought, well, that's the kind of thing which happens to girls, right, and we've got a girl in the film, so we'll chuck in a line about her being raped. Now that's character development for you. And now the boys will fight each other, yeah! Which is precisely what happens.

After some more eye-wateringly cringeworthy weepy-weepy scenes, Amy is dropped into the heroine roll the only way badly-written cinema knows how: by silencing her and having her spend the last 15 minutes essentially as a boy, an ass-kicking, gun-firing secret agent spy superhero.

 The supporting female characters are not treated any better, consigned to either being quickly eaten or, in a forehead-slappingly awful moment, left to flirt in doorways with their supervisors, something which is made even more shocking by the fact that the writer is a physicist and should be well aware that the idea of flirting with another of our kind is as vomit-inducing as an ipecac milkshake.

What could have been a gorgeously tongue-in-cheek pastiche of the fearmongering surrounding the LHC is instead reduced to every teenage boy's first draft of a zombie film by some fantastically clichéd, blasé writing. The one highlight on the scaremongering front, over too quickly, is the mention of mini black holes. Although with hindsight, I'm surprised that there wasn't an audible snigger from the boys after that line.

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