Cockneys Vs Zombies is a film that seems content to sit back and let the title do all the work, but that’s not actually that much of a criticism, as the Mockney Shoot ‘em up and the “Abercrombie” (Zombie) film have both been hacked to death, and squeezed dry of any fun or wit or verve, strike a light! The comparisons to be drawn between Shaun of the Dead and Cockneys Vs Zombies are all too obvious, but suffice to say Cockneys Vs Zombies is a BBC3 version of Edgar Wright’s 2004 classic Rom-Zom-Com.
This latest Zom-Com kicks off when an East End “bag of cement” (building development) unearths a mass zombie grave, unleashing an undead “William Hague” (plague) on the British capital. This happens to happen on the same “Marvin Gay” (day) that two brothers (Harry Treadaway and Rasmus Hardiker) plan to rob a bank. Our heroes are not the typical Lock Stock ruffians, they have hearts of pure “hot and cold” (gold), as they are only doing the blag so their dear old grandpa can keep his old people’s home in business. The stories collide, but “Ronnie Scott” (plot) is just an excuse for title, with Cockneys Vs Zombies.
As it happens the title, is the best thing about Cockneys Vs Zombies, the second best thing about it is the cast, and the real stars are the OAPs mouthing off and shooting up the zombies with a wrinkled glee not seen this side of Cocoon. Worth a mention are (national treasure) Richard Briers as a lecherous old-timer (who attempts to outrun a staggering zombie, relying heavily on his Zimmer). We are also treated to Alan Ford, the Gielgud of gangster flicks (who trained at East 15 Acting School rather than serving an apprenticeship under Ronnie and Reggie fact fans) doing what he does best, “Shut up, you soppy tart!”, Dudley Sutton and (adding GILF glamour to proceedings) Honour Blackman, which all makes the the scenes at the “brush and comb” (retirement home) more fun than the main storyline (probably why they feature so heavily in the “Norman Mailer” (trailer)).
You probably would “Adam and Eve” (believe) it, but the younger cast of Cockneys Vs Zombies are simply outclassed, outsworn and outacted by their peers, but mention must be made of Georgia King as a level-headed yuppie and the super sexy Michelle Ryan as Katy, who has never looked better than when she brandishes a pair of fully automatics. Thankfully there is no Danny Dyer in Cockneys Vs Zombies, maybe he was too busy off filming the next installment of his Maxus Opus; Danny Dyer’s Knuckleheaded Thugs. Sadly after the fun of the casting and the title, the German director Matthias Hoene settles for sub-Guy Ritchie tricks and twitches with his camera, leaving the title to do the talking and letting the cast be the draw. The “Felix Lighters” (scriptwriters) James Moran and Lucas Roche do a better job, the script avoids nastiness in favour of sweetness which was a wise choice with such a ridiculous set up.
With a set up that over the top, and an arsenal of shooters that would shame an American survivalist, you know you’re in for dumb fun zombie comedy action. If that’s your idea of a decent “giraffe” (laugh) give Cockneys Vs Zombies a “butcher’s (hook)” (look). Cockneys Vs Zombies is certainly worth an “Ayrton (Senna)” (tenner), best enjoyed with a “Ruby Murray” (curry) and plenty of “Britneys” (Britney Spears; beers).