"Tell you what, Kev. Don't ask me why I can't leave without my wife. I won't ask you why you can." -Sheriff Dutton
The Crazies is about as cliché as it could possibly be. This movie has all the horror standbys: Tough-as-Nails-but-Loyal-and-Brave-Hero;
However, the way The Crazies is done--script, direction, acting--is competent. While it's not anything even a hard-core Romero fan would call genius, it is entertaining.
A remake of the 1973 George Romero film of the same title, which I have not seen but now want to, The Crazies takes place in a small Iowa farming town with about a thousand people in it where formerly kind, honorable citizens decide they're tired of sanity and begin doing fun things like walking into the middle of ongoing baseball games with loaded rifles and setting their families on fire. Sheriff "Honest-as-the-Day-is-Long" Dutton (Timothy Olyphant), the first person to realize something truly odd is going on, starts out determined to figure out why everyone's acting so strangely. Then he's determined to help people. By the end of the movie, he's just determined to keep himself and his wife alive, whatever the cost.
Without giving any spoilers away, there's some government criticism in the story, and I think I caught a shot taken at the way America's troops are being treated abroad, too (watch for the scene where Dutton meets a government soldier who looks about twelve years old in a barn). While the criticism made sense in some places, in other scenes I wasn't left with the impression the government was at fault, and would have liked to see deeper exploration of just who in Oval Office was giving what orders and why.
The DVD extras are great; perfect, in fact. The disc is loaded with them, things like in-depth interviews with cast and crew that helped me figure out why they decided to shoot the movie the way they did. It's nice to see a horror movie get proper DVD treatment.
If you're a horror fan, a conspiracy fan, a thriller fan, or a Romero fan, give this one a rental some night, though I wouldn't suggest buying until you see it first. It's worth the look.