— by FRANK MORITZ —
Zombies, what are they? They are the living dead that want to eat the brains of humans. But what are they in the sense to movie history? They are probably the most famous sub-genre of horror (other than vampires), and a big cult genre. Zombies can be fun or scary, depending on how you use them, but no matter what they are entertaining.
“Zombieland” is the latest addition to the amazing collection of zombie movies. “Zombieland” is about a young kid named Columbus (played excellently by Jesse Eisenberg from “Adventureland”) who was at college when a zombie outbreak happened. But with his wits and a few rules to survival, he has managed to survive. Then, when it seems that there are no more humans left on Earth, he decides to go back to his home town of Columbus, Ohio, to see if his parents are alive — he doubts it, though.
On the road, he meets up with Tallahassee (perfectly played by Woody Harrelson), a crazy southerner who only wants to kill as many zombies as possible before he dies and find the last Twinkie on Earth. The two of them team up together only to find two more humans, Wichita (Emma Stone from “Superbad”) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin from “Little Miss Sunshine”). Then the four of them go on a journey to an amusement park where they think there are no zombies there, ha.
This film is absolutely hilarious, one of the funniest movies I have ever seen, if not the funniest. The trailers made it out to be a slapstick comedy, which it is at times, but it also has some really smart comedy to go along with it.
The script was perfectly written by Rhett Reese & Paul Wernick. It is packed with originality, grade-A comedy — both slapstick and smart — and good-ol’ fun, blood and gore, but not horror.
One of the funniest parts is when Columbus would say his rules of survival and then it would show an example of it. Some of his rules are (the numbers may be off, but …): #1: Cardio (or be in shape); #2: Doubletap (make sure it is dead); #3: Beware of Bathrooms; #4: Seatbelts (you never know when you may crash); #14: Limber Up (you never know when you may have to run); #17 Don’t Be A Hero; #31: Check the Backseat; and #32: Enjoy the Little Things. Those were the ones that I could remember.
The script surprisingly had character development, which a lot of Zombie movies leave out. This script was just 80 minutes of genius.
It was directed by Ruben Fleischer, a newcomer who makes an impressive first impression. Whenever Columbus would say a rule or do one of his rules, the rule in words would appear on screen with the number and then would disappear do to someone running through it, shooting it, or blood would even stain on it, which I thought was a nice touch.
It had the typical action angles and zombie movie angles but he somehow would freshen it up. It had one of my favorites, the hook-on. Which is where a character will be in a car and the camera will be attached onto the back of it and the car would be in motion and the camera would go with it.
The acting was the best part, aside from the script. It had (most of the time) great performances from all its leads, especially Woody Harrelson; he was perfectly cast. I honestly believed him as a bad mutha from the South that just loved killing zombies. He was the funniest of the four and just the most entertaining to watch. Eisenberg also did a great job. His character was similar to the one in “Adventureland” — shy, insecure, virgin, and a socially-troubled kid. But he cranks it up to 11 in this movie because he is somehow a BA.
Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin did a substantial job, not nearly as good as Eisenberg or Harrelson, but they didn’t bother me because they still did great overall.
This film also features one of the best cameos ever, but I don’t want to ruin the surprise for those of you who don’t know who it is. But for those of you who do know, you are in for a treat.
I really liked “Zombieland,” it was one of the most fun experiences I have ever had going to the movies. Crowded Friday night, completely packed theater, everybody laughing at the same time, I swear the theater almost shook. “Zombieland” is easily my favorite film so far this year. Please, though, take it for what it is, a funny zombie movie that is completely entertaining for all 80 minutes.
I recommended it to anyone who likes to laugh or is a fan of zombie movies.
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