MOVIE REVIEW: Zombieland

Zombie films tend to only be on the opposite ends of the spectrum:  Either they are really good or extremely horrible, there is no in between. Whether it’s 28 Days Later (good) or the Dawn of the Dead remake (horrible), there just isn’t a ‘just ok’ zombie flick. So this fact means that first time director Ruben Fleischer already has a  big mountain of corpses to get over.  But there just happens to be another variable in this horror equation:  He has made it into a comedy also.  There has been only one successful Zom-Com and it just happens to be my favorite film of all time.  So, going into this film I was skeptical yet excited about the ride I would be going on in ZOMBIELAND.

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The movie follows the story of OCD deadpan Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) who meets up with redneck Tallahassee (the amazing Woody Harrelson), whos only mission in this zombie apocalypse is to kill as many dead heads as he can and to find….Twinkies.  Along the way they meet two sisters, Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin), who have trust issues and have a tendency of stealing vehicles.  Their plan is to go to a theme park that they went to as kids because they think it is a “zombie safe zone”.  Along the way they stop off in Los Angeles and stay in celebrity mansions, which leads to one of the best cameo appearances of all time.  Once the crew makes it to the theme park, they find it to be more than occupied. Mayhem ensues.

I really liked this film from start to finish.  First time director Ruben Fleischer really hit a home run with his debut effort. The title sequence at the beginning was simply amazing and really set the tone for the rest of the movie.  Having Columbus’s rules pop up on screen was also a really nice touch.  Another thing that impressed me from start to finish is that it broke some horror/zombie film cliches. An example of this is that the film didn’t include the “my friend got bitten but I can’t tell anyone or they will kill them so we’re just going to keep it our secret until they change into a zombie and try to kill us all…” that we are all too familiar with.

Some other things that impressed was the amazing soundtrack and the fact that the film was only gruesome and gory when it needed to be.  Now on to the performances.  Woody Harrelson is absolutely brilliant as redneck zombie killing machine Tallahassee but what really got to me was when we learn about what happened to him in his past; it really showed his range of acting.  Abigail Breslin serves her purpose as the cute girl and Jesse Eisenberg serves his with his same Michael Cera impression, but it actually does him well in this film. I loved Emma Stone, I believe she’s going to start getting a lot more roles soon and I think that is a good thing.  Oh, and that cameo, I’m just going to simply say wow.

Now on to the bad. I mentioned earlier that  there were some horror/zombie cliches broken, but in a good way. Well, they were also broken in a bad way.  Everyone knows you don’t reveal what actually caused the zombie outbreak and that you don’t call zombies zombies. You call them ‘the undead’ or ‘Zeds’ or ‘them’ or something along those lines.  Another thing about this movie is that it is predictable at times.  But these are all small things that in the end don’t really take away from the film.

A lot of people are going to compare this movie with my favorite movie of all time: Shaun of the Dead.  It just isn’t true:  the only thing Zombieland and Shaun have in common is that they have zombies, guns, and comedy.  And this is a good thing. This means that there is diversity in the Rom-Zom genre and that means that it can flourish and blossom into something all its own.  I enjoyed my roller coaster ride on Zombieland and am so glad it didn’t turn out to be a merry go round.

VERDICT: SEE IT!

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2 Responses to “MOVIE REVIEW: Zombieland”

  1. mcarteratthemovies Says:

    “OCD deadpan” — terrific way to describe what Jesse Eisenberg does with Columbus. I really like Eisenberg as an actor, much more than Michael Cera because I think Eisenberg’s awkwardness is genuine and touching. Cera seems, at times, a little too pleased with his own cleverness.

    Thanks to all the crazy-creative zombie kills, that kickass celeb cameo by you-know-who and Woody Harrelson going whole-ham, I think “Zombieland” deserves to be ranked alongside “Shaun of the Dead,” the funniest zombie film ever made.

    M. Carter @ the Movies
    http://mcarteratthemovies.wordpress.com/

    • themorningthunderbuffalo Says:

      I have to agree with you on Michael Cera-Maybe I’m being a little to harsh on Mr. Eisenberg. And it does deserve to be in the same league of comedy as SOTD, I’m just glad that they are two different story lines, proving that zombies and comedy can mix together without being the same story

      THANK YOU SO MUCH for commenting on this, you have no idea how much it means to me when I get feedback. Love your site by the way and keep watching Movies!

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