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Arguably one of the finest horror comedies of all time is Edgar
Wright's Shaun of the Dead, and since its release in '04, there have
been a good number of wannabes. Based on the trailers for Zombieland,
however, I thought that the film had some serious potential to match
Shaun in terms of quality, possibly even usurp it. Having seen the
film, I'm happy to say that Zombieland does just that.
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.
Just came from a sneak preview held in Baltimore and left the theater feeling very satisfied. You don't normally find a late September movie as good as "Zombieland" was. After dropping you in the action right from the start, the movie keeps coming with constant laughs and good action. There were not a lot of scares in the movie, other than the few obvious scenes where you could see one coming, but horror is not what the director was going for in this film. Laughs, however, come often and from many different directions. Jessie Eisenberg's nerdy, insecure 'Columbus' character and Woody Harrelson's redneck zombie-killing 'Tallahassee' play very well off each other and provide plenty of memorable moments. Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin are also solid throughout. There is also one unforgettable cameo that had most of the audience rolling in the aisles. The film has a simple, easy to follow storyline that does not provoke a lot of questions. Indeed, if you go to this movie expecting a lot of plot twists and surprises, you're going to be severely disappointed. There is however, good action, good laughs, and plenty of zombie related gore. At about 90 minutes long, it does not drag on and gets to the predictable but satisfying ending, going out in style. There will no doubt be a lot of comparisons to "Shaun of the Dead", which is nothing to be ashamed of, but this is truly a one of a kind movie experience that holds its own with any not only any zombie movie in recent memory, but with any comedy so far this year. As long as you don't go into this movie expecting too much, you'll get your money's worth. Well done.
I caught a sneak preview of Zombieland with a friend and was impressed
to say the least.
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.
I just was exiting the theater after seeing '9', which is also worth a
look, when my friend and I were offered tickets to a preview screening
of Zombieland, which began almost immediately. I had seen previews for
this picture, but I'd say this exceeded my expectations, which isn't to
say masterpiece, but it was certainly entertaining, and at about 90
minutes, didn't really overstay it's welcome.
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.
This film was a fun ride all the way through. It's lack of scariness(non existent) and *GASP!* gore is more than made up for with the constant flow of hilarity and likable characters. This is by far the optimist's zombie film, as the way things play out are definitely different than any one thats come before it(definitely not a Romero flick, though I think his Land of the Dead actually is second place in this regard). It has a sleek, very modern sense of style-just watch for how each rule makes it's appearance/reappearance and a good message on the importance of others in the worst of times. I recommend this to anybody who has a remote interest in comedies, zombie/end of the world flicks, or just having a good time at the theater, and look forward to seeing it again when it comes out.
The name Zombieland conjures up a vision of a zombie-themed amusement
park -- and that's exactly what this film is. Visually stylish and the
most laughs I've had at the movies in a long time. A really solid
script and nice underlying story really helps make this so much more
than just a bunch of awesome zombie kills. That being said, this film
feels as if you're playing a really badass zombie killing video game.
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.
(Synopsis) The entire world is hit with an apocalyptic infection that
turns people into zombies once they have been bitten by an infected
zombie. Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) is a young geek who has a lot of
phobias about almost everything from clowns, to bathrooms, to checking
the back seat of cars. Being alone and scared of the outside world has
kept him alive. His new fear is being eaten by zombies. To survive,
Columbus has begun making a long list of rules to survive. Each time he
gives you one of his rules, you see an example of his rule in action.
He decides to go home to Columbus to see if his parents are still
alive. Along the highway, he meets Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) a
redneck zombie killer who loves Twinkies. They team up and head for
Tallahassee. On the way they meet and join forces with two girls,
Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abagail Breslin). They may be the
last surviving people on earth, and they must rely on each other to
(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)
Zombieland is hardly a plot-heavy and dramatic masterpiece, but it IS
very, very funny, and not funny in a way you're used to seeing in a
There are very few jokes made, the humor is more from people doing things that people might normally do, just filmed very well in a humorous fashion.
Oh, and the movie has lots of zombies and other awesome stuff that surround this entire idea of having every situation be the biggest "What the frack?!" you can possibly imagine.
The small cast was obviously having a great time when they made it, and all four characters did a very good job of fitting with the style of the movie.
Lastly, while the whole movie is hilarious, one scene in particular will have you in fits, one of the funniest single little scenes I've ever seen. But, no spoilers here!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I mean come on, who doesn't think about what they would do if zombies took over the world. Its a fun, yet serious question to think about. Most movies have it right, by taking the serious side of things. But what if we take a video game approach and just run around killing everyone of them? Uh.......you can more than sign me up for this one. OK, lets face the honest question.......if your some little prissy girl who does not like or does not appreciate zombie films.......then this is the wrong movie for you. This movie takes everything you have learned from all those movies, and puts a comedic spin on it. I mean come on, a zombie stripper wearing nipple tasles running in slow motion.....how could anyone not want to see that? The movie is very basic in its groundwork, but excels in its humor and character drive. Woody is basically a zombie film buff's wet dream. A hoosier red neck who wants to just kill zombies for the rest of his life. Now i must admit, towards the middle of the movie, it almost felt like they weren't focusing on the whole zombie aspect that much........mainly because they were adding a little depth to each of the characters. But rest assured, by the end, it totally quenches your thirst. But through all the hilarious dialogue and funny little zombie killing sequences, the best part of the movie was hands down the cameo. Now if you have not heard who it is by now, im not going to say it........but it is almost genius, and probably the best cameo ever created, and i will stand by that 100%. Trust me, it is that funny. Bottom Line.......i know i love zombie movies, and i might seem a little bias........but damnit, this movie is easily the best comedy of the year. It was the perfect mix of humor and gore........not only that, the story was pretty decent, and very entertaining to watch unfold. This movie is seriously like a fun house at the carnival. It will easily be accepted by the zombie lover crowd, and the general population. This movie is easily one of the 10 best i have seen so far this year. If your looking to have a good time at the theatre, this movie will surely provide that.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
8.4 out of 10. Somebody must have given zombies the vote.
* SPOILER ALERT * Except, what's to spoil? The writers ran out of ideas roughly seven minutes into the film. It starts off OK, if not brilliantly. Via excessive voice-over, we are introduced to our first one-dimensional Hollywood cardboard cut-out character ("25-year old, nerdy, Jewish, obsessive-compulsive, A-student, virgin"). He has a set of rules for survival: a nice device, but none of the rules are exactly hilarious.
We then meet our second one-dimensional character ("roughneck with barely concealed warm heart"), and our first none-dimensional character ("feisty girl with no logical motivation for anything she does other than to present a series of romantic challenges for her one- dimensional male admirer").
** SPOILER ** Hence, the two cardboard men enter a shop looking to help reinforce the film's product placement deal. They kill three zombies in inexplicably unnecessary ways, then enter a back room to find two girls (how have they evaded the zombies?), waiting for real people (how did they know the only other two people in America would be passing by?), so they can trick them (why?) and steal their car (why, when there are millions of cars?) and guns (ditto) and drive off in the opposite direction.
Then, they lay another trap for the guys (how did they know they'd change direction from east to west and pass by in that direction, down that country road, at that time?), steal their car again (why, when they have one already?), kidnap them instead of leaving them behind (why? why? why? why? and, then again, why?). Ad absurdum, ad infinitum.
The middle hour of the film made no attempt to interrupt the enveloping boredom. With Bill Murray, this is the first time I've seen an actor introduced into a film exactly as if he were a piece of product placement, along with ample cringeworthy toadying. It felt as if the studio had said, "the script's not long enough, and we need an extra 25 pages. Bill Murray owes us a favour, so you can have him for an afternoon, if you like. But you only have an hour to write it." They remark on how much he looks like Eddie Van Halen, which is bizarre, because he clearly looks like Michael Jackson. But maybe they thought referencing Jackson would have felt too much like introducing a joke into the film.
The final act was merely a bland shoot-'em-up computer game, but without the intellectual dimension.
The role the zombies play in this film is as an uninteresting, unthreatening MacGuffin required to cause occasional distractions from what is in essence the lamest love story between two of the least interesting characters in modern film.
It's an insult to America to refer to Zombieland as an American Shaun of the Dead, a film which incidentally has an IMDb rating of just 7.8, against Zombieland's 8.4. Which is rather like Star Wars rating 7.8 against Plan 9 from Outer Space rating 8.4.
1 out of 10 because 0 isn't an option.
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