WHAT IF…S1E5 WHAT IF ZOMBIES?!
Up until this week’s episode, I wasn’t sure I wanted to watch WHAT IF… anymore. I’ve been continually let down by most episodes and after last week’s Doctor Strange-centered outing, I didn’t think a recovery was possible. I was absolutely convinced this week’s episode would be a 🤮for me. But the 🧟🧟♀️🧟🧟♀️’s delivered! Make no mistake, WHAT IF…ZOMBIES?! Is not an increase in quality for me, but it’s so over the top silly that it was genuinely entertaining, in the vein of a midnight cult movie screening.
The premise is pretty simple: What if, in another multiverse, an experiment done by one of the MCU’s many scientists went horribly wrong and turned most of the world, along with several of earth’s mightiest heroes into zombies. If you like THE WALKING DEAD, TRAIN TO BUSAN, or just about any of the zombie-focused movies or tv-shows that have permeated pop culture for the last 50+ years, this episode is quite a hoot.
The story leans pretty heavily into campy gore and zombie tropes taken from other stories. Having recently watched #ALIVE, I couldn’t help but notice a massive similarity to a plot point in this episode of WHAT IF. Lazy writing? More than likely, just a send-up to a common zombie trope that goes back decades. My favorite scenes that brought me a lot of deep belly laughs were seeing my favorite Avenger-turned-zombie hunting and feeding off others while still retaining some of their pre-turned personality.
As the episode reaches its climax, it pulls back from the camp a bit to get technical about the how/when/what, drops in a familiar Marvel love story, and falls into territory that I just didn’t care enough about. Bring back the zombies! Bring back the blood and gore! And thankfully it did.
It’s not THAT important that each of the live-action MCU actors reprise their roles here, but it’s nice. I absolutely understand Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr. not wanting to jump back into roles they’ve publically retired from. But I was at first disappointed that the voice of Peter Parker here wasn’t Tom Holland. That being said, actor Hudson Thames was a fantastic stand-in. Perhaps Tom was just finishing up NO WAY HOME.
If someone were to ask me if WHAT IF…. was worth watching, I’d absolutely recommend this episode and E2, but not the rest so far. It’s very rare I’ll ever say no to campy zombie stuff.
WHAT IF… episodes 1-5 are now streaming on Disney+