This is a bleak film, and you feel that permeating through every frame.
When I mention that Maggie moves at a slow pace, what I mean is that it often comes incredibly close to being boring. That's a shame, because there are some neat ideas at play, but they come to us so slowly that the potential to start tuning out is very real. Will Maggie eventually wind up functioning as a late-night cable hit that lulls people to sleep? It very well could, as it would certainly work for that.
Still, Maggie isn't without its pleasures. Being an effective mood piece means that its sense of atmosphere needs to be strong, and if there's one thing first-time director Henry Hobson does, it's achieving a strong sense of atmosphere. This is a bleak film, and you feel that permeating through every frame. The screenplay, provided by John Scott III, offers a few surprising moments later in the proceedings, which come as a nice way to change things up. The makeup used to slowly transform Abigail Breslin into a zombie is also quite impressive.
Breslin, by the way, is quite good as a teenager who is in her last few weeks of humanity; she brings surprising depth to the role. She makes her Maggie into a real character in a way that Schwarzenegger fails to do with his Wade.
Maggie is a mixed-bag of a movie. On one hand, a somewhat nuanced performance from Arnold Schwarzenegger and a strong sense of atmosphere always give you something to watch, but on the other hand, it's incredibly slow moving and ultimately doesn't add up to a whole lot that you haven't seen before. It offers a few surprises, and it's not without merit, but for most audience members it's not going to be something worth seeking out.
Bottom Line: A bleak, slow-moving zombie movie that's not particularly entertaining, Maggie is an odd entry into the career of Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Recommendation: Die-hard Arnold Schwarzenegger and zombie movie fans will want to check out Maggie. Otherwise, it's only worth seeing if you need a sleep aid.
If you want more of Matthew "Marter" Parkinson, you can follow him on the Twitter @Martertweet and check out his weekly movie podcast.