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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.
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:)
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.
(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.
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!
Over All: Not enough zombies to be Zombieland All the "comedy" felt like it was forced(VERY predictable and unfunny) Bill Murry... I still can't believe that was him (had to be Garfield Murry, because there is no way that's Groundhog Day Murry)
As it stands now, Zombieland is the most successful Zombie based film in history. Proving that there is still life (no pun intended) in the undead based comedy. Reese and Wernick have stated that the idea for Zombieland was milling around their heads in 2005, a year after Shaun Of the Dead had made such a joyous appearance on the horror/com circuit. You get the feeling that the guys desperately wanted an American version to rival the British torch bearer. They got it.
Where Zombieland differs greatly from Shaun is that it unashamedly lives in a cartoon fantasy world. It blasts right out of the blocks with a montage sequence of death, dismemberment, crash, bangs and wallops, and never lets up on its carefree abandon approach. And hooray to that. In fact the film only pauses for breath for a short time at the mid-point, and even then it's to slot in one of the best ever cameo performances to grace a comedy. Away from the tricks and smart gimmicks that gloriously light up the narrative (the rules, baby, are awesome), Zombieland works so well because of its four characters.
This maybe a Zombie movie (and what Zombies they are too), but this is about four likable human beings asking us to invest some time with them as they surge from one situation to the next. Something we are only too glad to do. Be it Harrelson (never better) laying waste to any number of the undead, or Eissenberg (hello there little Woody Allen) offering up witticisms that hide a lonely heart facade; these characters prove to have depth. Yes we could possibly argue that both Stone and Breslin (spunky & perky respectively) deserve more screen time, hell they sure earn it, but as a foursome they combine to make one of the brightest buddy buddy-buddy buddy movies out there.
It's plot lite, and unlike Shaun, it has no great peril sequences to fully form the horror aspects of it. But it's so funny and awash with carefree charm we have no right to dwell too long on its tiny faults. One of the best crowd-pleaser's of 2009 and proof positive that an apocalypse really can be quite fun after all. 8.5/10
Main problems with this movie are: - a total lack of rhythm and coherence in the story - bad choice of actors (sadly, even Woody is nowhere near his best performances) - bad acting (cringe worthy) - ridiculous decisions made by the characters (the whole amusement park thing is extremely stupid)
One good thing in the movie are "the rules", which at least make sense.
Even the generally liked Bill Murray episode just induces facepalms... really, they let him go in and try to scare a man with a shotgun? What a wonderful idea.
I don't have the time and the inclination to really go through the plot and list all the problems with the movie. What I can give you is an advice - STAY AWAY from the movie if you have to pay money to see it.
If you can see it for free and you are curious, well I guess there is really no harm in that.
* 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.
First of all, I understand you need to suspend reality before you even step in the theater when you watch a zombie movie. But the stupidity of some of the actions was beyond retarded. I'll explain more later.
Zombieland has it's moments. It looked great on the big-screen...you could tell a lot of time went into the appearance. The deaths were done very well (especially a scene where a lady is thrown from her car and her face bounces and drags along the pavement, leaving a stream of blood). Woody Harrelson was great as usual, but the big kudos goes to supporting actress Emma Stone, who was excellent. This changes all the time, but after seeing 'Zombieland', I now want to "plow" Emma Stone more than any other girl on the planet! She's hotter than a Mexican chili pepper in the middle of July! If I had the option of marrying her before I ever met her, my answer would be a resounding "Yes!"...and I'm not the marrying type to say the least! :)
But, the bad clearly out-weighs the good. The lead actor, Jessie Eisenberg, was annoying at best and downright terrible at worst. He's no Marlon Brando, that's for sure. I can't recall one thing he said or did that I laughed at. For a comedy, to get zero laughs out of the main actor is a joke in itself. Then there was a completely shameless sub-plot revolving around Woody Harrelson's love for a Hostess product, Twinkies. (They might as well have just stopped the movie halfway through and went to a Hostess commercial). At one point, Woody and Jessie find a Hostess truck crashed into a ravine. Upon opening it, one would think there would be BOXES of Sno-balls or Twinkies there...but what's there? Individually wrapped Sno-balls fall out of the truck like it was packed to the roof with them! Um, I think even a 13-year-old kid knows food items aren't shipped individually like that. Product placement needs to be done a bit more subtle to be effective, otherwise it just blatantly looks like a money-grab, which it was. Uggghhh.
Perhaps the biggest laugh and the biggest disappointment came during the same segment. Bill Murray's cameo. I won't re-hash the laugh, but the scene began with something beyond implausible. Murray, as a joke I guess, decides to -- not once, but twice -- "surprise" the pairs of armed guests by pretending to be a zombie. Perhaps the #1 thing I wouldn't do during a zombie attack is surprise somebody who's carrying a machine gun! And even after he surprised the first pair of people and barely escaped with his life, all 3 of them had no problem with Murray pulling the same joke on the second pair of armed people. Not surprisingly, Murray gets shot. Even Stevie Wonder could tell that was coming. Perhaps the 2nd biggest thing I wouldn't do, knowing the zombies were attracted to lights and sounds, is turn on the power at an amusement park right at dusk! How unbelievably corny. Also, in some scenes, the zombies are "28 Days Later" style FAST and ferocious. In other scenes, you could be crippled and still get away with relative ease. Plus, how was electricity even available after 2 months of no people running the power plant?! There are many things like that which you just shake your head at. Gas is never mentioned. All cars have the keys in them already. Seat-belts somehow stop you from getting even a headache after a high-speed head-on collision, much less a scratch. Twinkies are somehow EXTREMELY hard to find. Grocery stores look pristine, like they are ready to go, all powered-up and everything. People con you out of your car and guns, twice, even though cars and guns are easy to come by. Be prepared to roll your eyes a couple dozen times.
Finally, I simply can't recommend this movie. I love the genre, but this one was just too goofy. The love scenes were fake and implausible. I would have to think Emma Stone would be more attracted to Harrelson over the complete and utter dork they made Einsberg out to be. And Harrelson attempting to cry and bring some drama to the movie was awful and out of place. It's a comedy about zombies, people -- not all movies need the love interest and drama! Big mistake to try to cram those two things in.
I wanted to like the movie, I love the genre...but I just can't recommend it.
Thanks for reading!
There was absolutely nothing in this movie that redeemed it. I'm almost furious at the review that pops up at the bottom of the IMDb page when you view Zombieland's stats. The plot was predictable. The characters were one dimensional (although they tried to add something with little asides that were nothing short of cliché). I never really felt like there was any conflict in the entire movie. Bill Murry's cameo was a little awkward. I'm not really sure what they were thinking putting that in there...but then what were they thinking green-lighting this film?
The main character really seems like a replacement for Micheal Cera, whom I'm not a big fan of either. Why is this "whiny bitch boy" character so prevalent in movies these days? Something I can't understand and I'm even a generation-X-er. I don't want to pay for a movie to hear some guy my age whine, bitch, and moan. I can just go outside my Hollywood apartment and hear that for free.
Bottomline: waste of time, waste of money.
A vaguely explained zombie plague brings about the end of the world as we know it, leading a nerdy virgin and a 'lovable' redneck (played by Jesse Eisenberg & Woody Harrelson) to join forces with two joyriding sisters (played by no one in particular) and embark on a laugh-free road trip to Nowheresville.
Along the way, we're subjected to logic-free plot developments, flogged-to-death pop-up survival points, insomnia-inducing romantic interludes and some sporadic, incidental zombie-action to remind you that you're watching 'Zombieland' and not a dumbed-down 'National Lampoons Vacation' remake.
Bill Murray drops by at the half-time whistle to say "Hello, I'm Bill Murray! - you might know me from such comedy classics as 'Ghostbusters' - here's a clip from that movie!" before swiftly doing an exit to (no doubt) try and save what's left of his reputation and integrity. On this evidence Bill, probably not a lot.
I'd like to pay Kudos to the author of the review on this site who rightly pointed out that this painfully unfunny cameo could possibly be the first time an actor has been used on screen as a piece of product placement. Just when you thought the Hollywood studios had sunk as low as they could possibly go re this practice, they find new depths to plummet to by giving you a backhander with a stunt as shameless as this one. It makes Harrelson's tediously elongated "I must have my 'H*stess' Twinkie!" 'gag' look quaint and agreeable by comparison.
'Zombieland' has around 20 minutes of (just about) passable material in it's stretched-to-breaking-point running time. The rest is all filler that implodes the moment it comes under any kind of scrutiny and will have you scratching your noggin as to how something as poorly thought out as this one is gets green-lighted into existence.
If you wanna see this kind of thing done properly, then try and get your hands on a copy of 1984's 'Night of the Comet' (a small gem) and leave this piece of under baked gunge on the shelf marked 'DVNL' (Digital Video Naval Lint).
Like the movie as a whole, Zombieland's cinematography is shoddy at best. It tries to parody the intense camera work prevalent in Romero's work, but with a too-polished look and an overuse of slow motion (probably meant to be funny). It's like watching dawn of the dead if the cinematographer were the same guy that did the 40 year-old virgin. Zombieland, which in many ways tries to be America's answer to Shaun of the Dead fails to deliver visually. Whereas the latter juxtaposed hilarious action with a grim, washed-out physical atmosphere for comedic effect, Zombieland's camera work is too clean, to shiny, it simply lacks flavor, like the whole of the movie.
I have come to the conclusion that Zombieland is not a comedy, but a romance containing a few comedic scenes. As many have already said, the main funny parts are advertised in the trailer. The scene where Columbus's neighbor turns into a zombie as she and him are sitting on a couch together is an exception to this, as it is actually funny. Overall, concerning genre Zombieland is a romantic family values movie. Awkward, nerdy boy (Columbus) meets rebellious misandrist (Wichita), and after much mistrust, stupidity and "heroics" rebellious misandrist decides to stop being a bitch to awkward boy, and stay with him, illustrating the genesis of one of films most touching sadist/masochist relationships (sarcasm).
The film is advertised as a comedy, but turns out to be a family-values romance on the plane of Disney + ZOMBIES. The most generic monster + an extremely generic plot apparently equals profit. Not surprising in an age where directors like Michael Bay have a career, but I digress.
There are two good things about this film: one is twinkie loving, gun toting Talahassee, the most finely illustrated, if not the only finely illustrated character in the whole movie, the other is Bill Murray. At first glance Talahassee is a tough-as-nails barbarian with deep reservations about getting involved with people, for fear of losing them to the zombies. As the movie progresses we learn that he is on a quest for that sweet snack which he most adores, a twinkie. He finally finds his twinkie at the end of the movie, reinforcing the theme of completion. We also learn that the reason Talahassee fears connecting with people because of the loss of his son. He resolves this loss by becoming a father-figure to Wichita's sister, who lacks parents. Talahassee is a dynamic and consistently funny character and works wonderfully as a foil to reserved Columbus. Too bad he was in this movie. Bill Murray needs no explanation, he's Bill Murray.
Zombieland is a masterpiece of Hollywood economics. It is a combination of multiple genres, targeting at least two large demographics: males between the ages of 10 and 30, and females between the ages of 10 and 30. The presence of zombies, gore and (failed) badassery are supposed to attract the males. The strong, albeit bitchy, female character and the romantic plot are intended for the female demographic. The attempt at comedy is mostly a failure, but is intended to target the general comedy-loving populace. The film was, arguably, cheap to produce, with only a handful of speaking characters, a few sets (most of the film takes place in outdoor locations), one Bill Murray and zombie effects. The return is of course huge, partly because of false advertising. There is nothing special about this movie. Combine your average Superbad rip-off movie with Dawn of the Dead and there you go: copy, add, paste, the new Hollywood method for making money.
Don't waste 10 dollars on Zombieland, wait till you can rent it. In the meantime, if you want to see Zombies and laugh, gather some of your buddies and watch Zombi 3.
On a scale of A to Z I give this movie an M
Jesse Eisenberg plays a young man named Columbus (because that’s where he’s heading, across the wasteland that is the middle US). Columbus is scared of just about everything: clowns, the cloths people use to wipe down tables, bathrooms, you name it. A hot apartment neighbor comes down with this hot new disease that all the cool kids don’t want to have, and before you know it he’s killed her (well, rekilled) and is on the run, fleeing zombies and making up a long list of rules of how to survive in the eponymous new land. Near the beginning of our story, he meets up with a man he calls Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), who’s, uh, on his way to Tallahassee, and they in turn meet with a couple of con girls (Abagail Breslin and Emma Stone).
Comparisons to Shaun of the Dead are somewhat apt, as both movies are comedic takes on a horror subgenre, and director Ruben Fleischer was influenced by the Simon Pegg-Nick Frost movie. But. Zombieland is both funnier and more sincere; it’s not a slapstick comedy, and it’s not really a horror film, as Shaun of the Dead was. In fact, it’s sort of quirky and genreless.
There were a LOT of laugh-out-loud moments for me in this movie, and I think a chief reason it all gels is that the leads are so perfectly cast. Eisenberg is awesome as the protagonist, the vulnerable hero, and Harrelson is a real hoot as the Mad-Max-like (or maybe Ash from Evil Dead) gentle psycho who desires nothing more than to waste zombies and find one, just one, Twinkie. Yes, I said Twinkie! I also really liked Abagail Breslin as the moppet Little Rock. It’s always tough for child actors to make the transition into more-adult roles, but she’s up to the task here. Emma Stone is tough and sweet as her sisterly counterpart.
There’s a cameo that’ll surely surprise you – and what’s more, it really works. The actor – no spoilers here! – really sells the role. Let’s just say that he plays himself. Did I mention that the main characters are headed to California and that basically everyone else in the world is either dead or a zombie? Everyone? You don’t often hear people applaud during a movie, but applaud we did at a couple key moments. The final scene in an amusement park is witty and lighthearted, at least as lighthearted as mowing down zombies with machine guns can be.
Now, granted, there’s plenty of blood splattering, plenty of gore, plenty of cursing, and even some nudity. And yes, it’s even gratuitous. But not for a zombie movie. For a zombie movie, those things are sort of underplayed a little bit, at least in the true horror sense – they’re played much more for chuckles than anything else. If anything, Zombieland is a movie that dares you to take it seriously, just so it can pull the rug out from under you and we can all laugh. It’s an offbeat look at an overused genre that cranks out the guts and guffaws in equal, lethal doses.
"Zombieland" is grossly gory and tongue-in-cheek. It pays homage to many films of the zombie genre and dozens that are not. Surprisingly funny, its humor is spot-on and effective, helped by a strong cast that includes Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, and Abigail Breslin.
The script hits the right notes continually, whether they are comedic or tender. And each twist feels right, keeping things interesting. The film never lags; it just shifts into a different gear.
This is a surprisingly fun film and it feels like it would stand up to repeated viewings.
I give it 7/10.