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Even so, there seems to be a limit (already passed before entry into this third sequel) on the number of ways a human can blow off a zombie's head, or a zombie in turn can take a bite out of a human. There is clearly a very strict limit on the number of ways a bitten human can react: blow off his own head, have somebody do it for him, or turn into a zombie himself. This gets old. And the search for symbols, metaphors, and such, is overburdened by the time a zombie tears out someone's navel ring with his teeth. There is more than one kind of decadence, and Romero is not immune.

The cast -- Simon Baker as a responsible mercenary, John Leguizamo as an irresponsible one, Robert Joy as a disfigured retarded sharpshooter licking his sight with his thumb like Sergeant York, Dennis Hopper as a nose-picking capitalist trampler on the masses -- adds little interest, although the presence of Asia Argento, daughter of Italian horrormeister Dario Argento, allows Romero to express gratitude to his producer on Dawn... , his directorial teammate on the horror anthology, Two Evil Eyes, and his emulator on films of his own.

* * *

Yes cries out for a one-word review: No.

In fairness, however, we probably should specify some of the things we're saying no to.

No, first and foremost, to the formulation of modern-day dialogue in rhyme (yes, rhyme, as in "So many lies" answered by "I guess that's what happens when love dies" or "I can't go on like this" answered by "Why? What did I say, what did I miss?" as well as uncollaborative rhymes such as "Is it me you're talking to? What do you know of my point of view, and come to that, of what I do?" and "I'm not the lying kind. What can I do to purify your mind?"), as if to elevate, to Shakespearean heights, the earnest talk about the battle of the sexes, the clash of cultures, the conflict of religions, Mideast vs. West, etc., but having the effect instead of getting the viewer to listen more for sound than for sense. No, too, to the insistence of "invisible" working women on inserting themselves in front of the camera, looking directly into it, and addressing it aloud in catty, confidential, conspiratorial tones. No to blown-up digital video which, while worrying the viewer that he is going blind, will no doubt look better in the DVD release, and which, in the meantime, reduces the big-screen theater to a mere way station en route to the store shelf. No to a postmodern patchwork of visual styles and textures. No to outsized ambition outrun by pretension. No to Sally Potter, the writer-director (and sympathy to Joan Allen, Simon Abkarian, Sam Neill). No, no, no.

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