First-reel heist movie plans always go awry, but even so, the zombie apocalypse is something nobody could really plan for. Brothers Andy (Harry Treadaway) and Terry (Rasmus Hardiker) are teaming up with their cousin Katy (Michelle Ryan) to rob a bank to prevent (somehow) the demolition of their grandfather’s old-age home. When the living dead start depopulating London mid-robbery, the trio have to make it to the East End before granddad and his elderly pals are devoured. No deeper than its truth-in-advertising title, Cockneys vs. Zombies has little sense of jeopardy, but it offers a few inspired additions to the zombie canon—notably a footrace between shambling zombies and a doddering fellow with a walker. The film also takes the piss out of Brit flicks, as one geezer runs rhyming slang trickier than Minnesota Fats’s bank shots. At its best at the retirement center, CvZ gives the old folks (Snatch‘s Ray Ford, and Honor Blackman, decades past Pussy Galore) the tough talk and daring rescues usually reserved for a younger crowd. Weightless as a bag of crisps, this matinee fare offers more laughs than scares. Its longest-lasting contribution, however, might be the cheery earworm of a fight song that plays over the end credits, infectious as a zombie bite.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 31, 2013