The post-apocalyptic drama Maggie finds Arnold Schwarzenegger leaving his action hero persona behind, and playing a rather ordinary human. He still has his hulking frame, but he’s sporting a beard, slicked backed hair, and slouched shoulders that suggest weariness. This is not a guy who feels like he can take on the world.

Radio snippets inform us that a virus that turns people into ravenous zombies is running rampant across the world. The process takes six weeks, a process during which their veins turn black, their skin white, their eyes milky, and their sense of smell heightened and increasingly attuned to human flesh. What’s left of society is locked down in a kind of police state, where those who show signs of infection are immediately, and rather crudely, quarantined. Obviously, the cities are an utter disaster, but much of Maggie takes place in the Midwest, where the wide open spaces occasionally convince you that the world isn’t coming apart at the seams.

Schwarzenegger plays Wade, a farmer from central Kansas, who finds his runaway daughter Maggie (Abigail Breslin), only to find that she’s been infected by “The Turn,” the virus that’s caused chaos across the world. Knowing that Maggie will be sent to quarantine, Wade is determined not to let that happen to his terrified daughter. Instead, he decides to bring her home, where his second wife (Joely Richardson) and her two kids nervously await their arrival. While Maggie’s stepmother tries to be supportive, the inevitable outcome puts limits on it. In contrast, Wade is a man of great resolve, even if it’s futile. Because the transformation process is slow, father and daughter have a lot of time to spend together. Because the ending is essentially unavoidable, the drama of the film doesn’t really come from Wade’s attempts to save Maggie’s life, but rather his efforts to except the inevitable.

There’s been countless zombie movies the last few years, but here, first time director Henry Hobson and screenwriter John Scott III have made the zombie aspect secondary. The story is more concerned with the relationship between a father and a daughter, and the affect long term illness can have on a family. Even as the police seek out Maggie, Wade increasingly acts as though they are the only two people on earth. While the focus on Wade’s grief avoids dealing with how the rest of the family is coping, Schwarzenegger is surprisingly good. There’s an unexpected poignancy to his performance. No worries though, he’s probably not going to give up the action genre.

Presented in the 2.40:1 aspect ratio, Lionsgate’s 1080p transfer is fairly solid. While the level of detail isn’t stunning, given the kind of film this is, it largely works. Colors are bland by design and flesh tones look natural throughout. There are no digital artifacts, but a light grain has been added.

The English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio serves the film quite well. Because the film is set in a post-apocalyptic world, things can be pretty quiet at times, but dialogue is clean and clear throughout. Effects are separated pretty nicely and LFE is used for balanced. Surrounds are used for ambience and music.

English, English SDH, and Spanish subtitles are included.

The following extras are available:

  • Director’s Commentary: Though there are some long silences, Henry Hobson does provide some information on the small budget, crew issues, and more.
  • “Making Maggie”Featurette (HD, 18:14) A typical making of featurette with interviews, behind the scenes footage, etc.
  • Deleted Scene(HD, 2:15) A scene between Wade and his wife (Joely Richardson).
  • Cast/Crew Interviews(HD Here we have the following interviews: Henry Hobson – Director (HD, 8:16), John Scott III – Writer (HD, 6:34), Arnold Schwarzenegger – “Wade”/Producer (HD, 19:48), Abigail Breslin – “Maggie” (HD, 7:19), Joely Richardson – “Carolyn” (HD, 8:10)
  • Maggie Trailer (HD, 2:09)