“What do you think, zombie kill of the week?”
Zombieland may in fact be the best zombie movie ever. Guts, gore, laughs, violence, this movie has it all in spades. Even the venerable Rotten Tomatoes has a rating of 89% at the time of writing.
Now down to business. There’s no monotonous 20 minutes set up for Zombieland, when the movie begins everyone is already a mindless flesh eating automaton. Our tour of the newly zombie infested United States is conducted by Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) who is attempting to get back to Columbus, Ohio to find his parents (whom he hopes are still alive). Along the way he explains the ‘rules’ of survival in Zombieland, such as rule number 2: The double tap (always make sure they are dead). At various points in the movie we are treated to a few of these choice rules, which add a little comic flavor. During his travels Columbus encounters veteran zombie hunter Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), and sibling survivors Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) and they all team up in the interest of survival.
Woody Harrelson is terrific in this role, his character has a twisted and dark sense of humor which fits well alongside the backdrop of a zombie apocalypse. Jesse Eisenberg turns in another hum drum performance though, if you saw Adventureland then you’ll recognize both the actor and the character – in that there appears to be no difference between the two. Emma Stone, if nothing else, is nice to look at for 40 plus minutes. As far as I’m concerned she is still an unproven actress, but with the looks alone she’s off to a good start (at least by the Megan Fox standard of acting). Kudos to Abigail Breslin, typically the ‘kid’ character in these kind of movies is both tiresome and irritating, not so in Zombieland. I rather enjoyed the fact that they bounce some jokes off of her based on her age (for example, not knowing who Bill Murray is). Oh, and yes, as you are likely already aware from the atrocious internet spoilers, Bill Murray has a cameo in this movie, and he’s great (really its Bill Murray, how could he not be great).
The director sticks to the typical zombie staples, established in classics like Evil Dead. This is not a criticism of the movie, because genre flicks like this should stick to those accepted norms. The blood splatter, the excessive violence, the hot chick and the reluctant hero. All classics, and all perfectly acceptable attributes of a good zombie flick.
For what it is, I really can’t pick out to many faults with this movie, it makes the wise decision of sticking to the 90 minute mark. Movies like this can’t run for 2 hours, it just doesn’t work. The cast were all good and worked well together. It was certainly a good move paring up the rather bland Eisenberg with the totally over the top Harrelson, it balances out beautifully.
Overall, fun movie, great zombie flick and worth the price of a ticket. Go see it.
Final Verdict on Zombieland: