Director: Michael Engler
Runtime: 122 Minutes
Main Cast: Michelle Dockery, Matthew Goode, Tuppence Middleton, Maggie Smith, Elizabeth McGovern, Laura Carmichael, Allen Leech, Imelda Staunton, Robert James-Collier, Hugh Bonneville
Plot: In the fancy building known as Downton Abbey, the residents and staff prepare themselves for a visit from the King and Queen of England. (My version)
The continuing story of the Crawley family, wealthy owners of a large estate in the English countryside in the early 20th century. (Official version)
My Thoughts: If you can’t tell by my description of the plot, I’ve never seen an episode of Downton Abbey. I dragged my friend Steph to see The Dead Don’t Die though, and I kind of owed her one. Plus I always say I’ll give any movie a chance! All she told me before we went in was that, and I quote, “if my beautiful butler does not get his happy ending we are rioting!”. I agreed wholeheartedly whilst eyeing up a chocolate cookie at the cafe!
(Spoiler warning from here on out because I genuinely don’t know what can be considered a spoiler!)
So to be honest, I had a lot of fun watching it. There were far too many characters for me to keep track of, I genuinely thought that Imelda Staunton’s character was the Queen for about half of the movie, so I got myself quite confused, but the movie itself is a standalone story in a way so I wasn’t completely lost. Any movie is worth watching for Dame Maggie Smith though, isn’t it? Plus, my geeky little heart was overjoyed to see Professor Umbridge and Professor McGonagall bicker!
I think I wanted just a little bit more drama, though. Maybe the TV show has it, but these incidents were built up and then fizzled out a little. Terrorist attack? Fizzled out before it really started. Thief in the Abbey? Found and scolded appropriately. Illegal, secret gay bar? The butler got arrested and bailed in about 2 minutes. My drama llama went hungry!
Still – I had a good time and I’m tempted to actually give the show a chance now, especially as I’m probably the only female Brit who’s never watched it…
Best Bit: Sorry but this isn’t even related to the movie. Me and Steph were the youngest audience members by at least 30 years, and that made the adverts/commercials section hilarious, as it was clear the target audience was definitely not us! It was all fun laughing at the specialist, pediatric chairs being advertised until one of Steph’s favourite shops made an appearance…!
Worst Bit: I was loving the totally hot plumber fixing the boiler and flirting with one of the younger staff members, much to the annoyance of her fiance, but then said fiance did the stupid thing of breaking the boiler (not realising the guy would have to return?!) and we didn’t get to see him again? Shameful.
Fun Trivia: The royal visit of George V to Downton Abbey was based on his real-life visit to Wentworth Woodhouse in Yorkshire which was used in the film for the ballroom scenes.
My Rating: 3 out of 5 boiler pipes which, you know, you should probably not stamp on if you don’t want the hot plumber to come back and hit on your gal.