The MPAA must love movies like this. First time director Zack Snyder has said he filmed some truly gruesome shots for this "Dawn of the Dead" remake, only to let the MPAA deal with it all later. It doesn't really make much sense when you think about it (does it really matter how many times you see a zombie get blown up?), but it takes more than gore to make a quality movie.
Working late, Ana (Sarah Polley) comes home to her husband and misses a breaking news bulletin. After being shocked awake by the neighbor's daughter who has turned into a flesh eater, she makes a run for shelter. Joining with a small band of survivors, they head for the local mall to make a last stand and hopefully make it out alive.
"Dawn of the Dead" basically starts with six people. You know very little about them and then suddenly, another set of characters drive into the film. The only thing one can think at that point is "I don't even know the names of the first six characters yet." By the time it's over, that doesn't really change. Even though he has all of three lines, the gun storeowner across the street named Andy is better developed than some of the main cast. That's pretty weak.
When there is some time in the script for the audience to know the characters, it's great. A scene inside a coffee shop was an excellent idea, cropped down horribly to avoid the film from slowing to a crawl according to the deleted scenes here on this DVD. To call everyone shallow would be understating the point.
Then again, who cares? It's a zombie movie. They get killed in gruesome ways and that's what the majority of the audience wants to see. Makeup effects are incredible and very little CGI has been used anywhere. One of the big money shots does misfire (a massive explosion), the only effect that doesn't really work. The biggest change involves the entirely mobile undead, now free to run and chase down the cast as fast as they can.