Movie Review: Zombieland
So, you think you know the zombie genre? Think again. Part road trip, part love story, and all comedy, this movie is fantastically original. It is also one of the biggest surprises of the year. I cannot believe how fun this movie was .
The story takes place in a post-zombie infected America, and the few humans that survive elect to be called by geographical monikers. Jesse Eisenberg (Adventureland,The Squid and the Whale) plays Columbus. He has OCD, irritable bowel syndrome and an irrational fear of clowns. Hardly the stuff heroes are made of. He has a set of Zombie rules he shares throughout the movie, the first one being cardio. He goes on to explain that all the “fatties” were infected/eaten first, because of their poor cardiovascular condition, so you have to be able to run to escape this crowd of zombies. That is the first indication that you are in for something different.
Woody Harrelson plays Tallahassee, a modern day cowboy who wants to kick some zombie ass, and has a serious soft spot for Twinkies. As in Hostess. A running joke throughout the movie has Tallahassee risking life and limb any time he thinks there may be a Twinkie available.
Columbus is driving from Austin, where he was attending college towards Columbus (the town) to look for his family. The unlikely partners hook up out of necessity, and the movie takes a road trip turn. During their adventures, they encounter Witchita (Emma Stone, of Superbad) and her younger sister Little Rock (Abigail Breslin). Distraught by the current plight of the human race, Witchita and Little Rock are trying to make their way to an Paradise Park in California, which is supposedly zombie free, and happens to harbor some great memories for the girls.
The four of them make their way toward California, killing zombies when they need to with a diverse supply of implements. They make a pit stop at a Hollywood mansion in a scene that is going to go down in history as the best cameo ever. No spoilers here, but it is worth the price of admission.
This film should kick start Woody Harrelson’s career again. Watching him kill the zombies with kamikaze zeal is a ball. One scene in particular reminded me a lot of the scene in Kill Bill when The Bride takes on the 88 samurais. He eventually becomes a father figure to the crew, and there are some unexpected, though wholly welcome scenes hinting at his background that add a little humanity to the film.
A very sweet love story evolves between Columbus and Witchita during all the mayhem. There is plenty of zombie gore, but the movie is not scary. It is a horror/comedy in the vein of Evil Dead 2 and Drag Me to Hell. This movie shouldn’t work so well, but it does. First time director Ruben Fleischer will be one to watch.
The final scene takes place in the amusement park at night. Zombies, in an amusement park. What more could you ask for?