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Unlike many comedies in recent memory, in which the majority of laughs are already provided by the trailer, Zombieland is filled to the brim with laugh-out-loud moments, thanks largely to the brilliant cast. Eisenberg is awesome as the main protagonist, Columbus, portraying that sense of vulnerability and awkwardness, without becoming too Michael Cera-like. Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin are also terrific as the sweet, yet tough Wichita and the more-mature-than-she-seems Little Rock, respectively.
The real stand-out performance, though, is Woody Harrelson as the Twinkie-lovin', zombie-hatin' Tallahassee. Next to that of Woody Boyd on Cheers and Frasier, this is definitely the best performance of his career. There's also a painfully hilarious cameo appearance about mid-way through the film that would be a crime to spoil. Suffice it to say, this is hands-down the best cameo that I've ever seen in a film.
The most surprising aspect of Zombieland, to me, is how much heart there is. All of the characters feel warm and alive, and what drama there is to be found feels extremely sincere. Ultimately, you feel invested in the story and the characters, which I think is the most important thing any film of any genre can do.
Zombieland has instantly become a horror favorite of mine (comedic or otherwise). The for the lack of a better word quotable dialogue, consistently hysterical tone, and endearing characters, all come together to create a film that will undoubtedly become a cult classic.
Zombieland has to have one of the flashiest openings in memory. There is no subtle build up. You are dropped right into Zombieland as Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) begins listing the rules to survival. Of course each rule gives you a hysterical example of why the rule is in place. Anything that has been taboo for horror films at one time is met head on. I won't list each as not to spoil the movie but Zombieland has a unique ability to make almost anything seem comical. This includes the fact that for some reason it seems that every zombie in Zombieland has a blood belching problem. Literally every zombie has blood spewing from their mouth. This is captured best in the intro as you almost feel like you are supposed to have the 3D glasses in place.
Columbus is funny enough with his phobias and geek lifestyle that proves to be what keeps him alive but it isn't until he meets Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), that things really kick into gear. Harrelson seems to have been born for this role. He has more one liners than any character in recent memory. Each line is typically vulgar but even if offensive it is near impossible not to laugh. Let's face it, if you are completely offended by language or blood then you aren't likely to be sitting with a crowd watching Zombieland in the first place.
A little romance is thrown into the mix when Columbus and Tallahassee come up on Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin). For a zombie comedy I thought Eisenberg and Stone actually had decent chemistry. Not that much time is dedicated to romance but what is there comes across as sincere and lets us watch as Columbus transitions from geek to hero. Even without the romance the girls are an important part of the chemistry of Zombieland. They help to even out the brawn and the brains between the four characters.
Zombieland has a simple story. The guys are loners. Columbus with the simple mission to stay alive and Tallahassee with a never ending search for any and all of the remaining golden Twinkies left on the planet. The girls are sisters who are trying to get to an amusement park in CA where they believe, or at least want to believe it is zombie free. A small part of the film feels like the movie Vacation with zombies. The comical trip with a destination which you can just feel isn't going to be what the characters hope for. Like Vacation it shows that the journey is far more important than the destination.
The biggest moment of the film has to be the mystery cameo. I'm glad I didn't know who it was and I won't spoil it for anyone else. I will say that it was brilliantly written into the script. PERFECT! It really goes to show how much they focused on getting Zombieland to be a top notch flick that should go down as a horror-comedy classic to remember. It will certainly fit alongside Shaun of the Dead in my movie collection.
As you might expect for this genre, it's quite gory, so don't go expecting a light 'R' rating. But if you can handle some bloodshed, no, make that a substantial amount of bloodshed - but perhaps I should add in a comic environment - there's some pretty funny stuff here. Woody Harreleson and Jesse Eisenberg make an amusing odd couple and Emma Stone was fine for this material, although she and Abigale Breslin had slightly less to do.
I'm certainly no expert on the horror genre or the zombie sub-genre, but I can say that this wasn't as scary as Shaun of the Dead, in fact not very scary at all, I may have jumped back just a tiny bit a few times; however I may have laughed more. However I'm sure it does make a difference that I saw 'Shaun' alone on DVD, while 'Zombieland' I watched in a theater full of people laughing, clapping and cheering.
Let's face it, you know what's going to happen in this flick, but I'm happy to say, plot conventions and all, this delivers enough laughs so if you know what you're getting into I doubt you'll regret laying down the price of admission for this sucker. Should you see it, see it opening night - if I haven't made it clear enough already, this is the kind of movie where the more enthusiastic people in the theater, the more fun it will be. And to end on a very positive note, 'Zombieland' does feature what just might go down in history as the best celebrity cameo of all time.
Thanks to 'Natural Born Killers', Woody Harrelson has just the right cult status and persona for this type of film, which is intended to pay homage to the great zombie 'B' movies of yesteryear, but really is a great zombie 'A' movie with today's style & sensibility. Jesse Eisenberg (who has a certain Michael Cera shyness/eccentricity to his delivery, but doesn't seem nearly as pathetic as Cera's characters often come off) carries the film well. And of course, everyone is talking about the film's 'secret' cameo, and rightly so. It is absolutely the best and most fun part of an already awesomely fun film -- and it kept me laughing almost non-stop throughout that 10-15 minute section of the movie.
This is a zombie-comedy that deserves to take it's place amongst the best of the genre, 'Shaun of the Dead' and 'Army of Darkness'. In fact, what I wouldn't give to see a triple feature of these films at a drive-in theater on Halloween... the perfect place and time for a zombie feeding.
On a deserted highway strewn with the detritus of the old world that once existed, Columbus runs into the crazy but dumb Tallahassee (the characters call themselves after the place they come from so they don't get too close to one another). Played by Woody Harrelson, he clearly is having a great time with his role. Without his charm, the film would really suffer as the younger actors don't bring a lot to the party.
Later on, they meet two double-crossing sisters (the older one played by a deep-voiced, huge-eyed Lindsay Lohan lookalike, the younger one played by Little Miss Sunshine's Abigail Breslin). These characters are so selfish, mean-spirited and ultimately stupid that it's hard to feel anything for them. The romance between Columbus and Wichita at the end feels forced and phoney.
The cameo by Bill Murray is a welcome respite. The affection the filmmakers and other actors have for him and his death in it, raise Murray to the level of national treasure. The world, even at its end, seems a much darker place without him.
As everything that happens in the film follows the lead character's rules for survival to the letter, there are no surprises. He seems to know everything in advance. The writers get so caught up in their own cleverness that they don't see the bigger picture of what they're doing. The zombies never really come close to turning the tables on the heroes and that kills any tension there might be (even when they are vastly outnumbered and surrounded, their lives are never really in any danger and they easily find a way out of any situation.) The self-conscious humour and deafening rock soundtrack constantly remind you that nothing bad is going to happen to the heroes.
Never as funny as Shaun of the Dead (Harrelson's running Twinkie gag isn't really that funny to begin with and the payoff is a letdown), never as intense as Dawn of the Dead, it falls between the two stools. So it's a good movie, not a great one. It's fun while it's on but never reaches the heights of George A. Romero's zombie flicks or 28 Days Later for that matter. There is apparently a sequel on the way; hopefully it will be tighter and scarier than the original.
I seriously loved this film. The comedy is great, we care about the characters, the zombies are gross & the dialogues are seriously cool. This became one of my favourite comedy films of all time, as the character development is strong & there are laughs all the way through. This film has something which lots of films in this genre are missing, it has heart. The characters are warm & the little drama it has is very sincere.
The standout performance comes from Woody Harrelson who is Twinkie loving and zombie hating. Jesse Eisenberg is really maturing as an actor. His latest films have all been good. And his rules, God The Rules, that was so much fun. Abigail Breslin plays yet again the girl-who's-mature-way-beyond-her-age. It may sound boring, but trust me it is anything but that. Emma Stone as Wichita, I loved her. All the characters were endearing to me.
This will undoubtedly become a cult classic, much in the same way as 'Shaun Of The Dead'. A zombie comedy that's this good has taken too long to come after Shaun of the Dead. But it is definitely worth the wait:)
(My Comment) Zombieland is a horror comedy at its best. You usually don't see a zombie movie as a comedy, but you will like this one. Actually this isn't really a comedy; it is more a funny horror movie, because there is bloodshed in a comic situation. There is plenty of blood splattering, plenty of killing and gore, and even some nudity of a stripper zombie. The film delivers you four heroes that you can root for when the zombies come after them. You will begin to love the scenes with the rules of survival that Jesse Eisenberg explains to the audience in a background voice such as wearing your seat-belt, or the double-tap rule after you shoot a zombie make sure he is dead by shooting him in the head again. Trust me; this is not a wasted shot. Woody Harrelson's performance is terrific, as a redneck zombie killer who misses his puppy Buck, and must find a Twinkie at any cost. There is one unforgettable cameo appearance that will take place at someone's Beverly Hills mansion. I won't say his name, but it is hilarious. There is one thing that I must say about this zombie movie that is not normally in zombie movies, and that is the fact that once these zombies are infected they can run very fast. As a matter of fact that is rule number 1, be sure that you can outrun the zombies, because the overweight and slow people were caught first by the zombies. There are some pretty funny scenes, and you will laugh from beginning to end. (Columbia Pictures, Run Time 1:20, Rated R)(7/10)
In all the premise was interesting, though not original, and could probably have worked a lot better with some better writing and perhaps playing to the fact it's a coming of age road movie which just happens to be set after the zombie apocalypse.