Zombie movies have regained a bit of a resurgence since 28 Days Later, and for the most part have proved to be very successful at the box office. The latest zombie movie to hit theaters is Zombieland, from first time director Ruben Fleischer and the writing team of Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. A bit more Shaun of the Dead than 28 Days Later, Zombieland takes the best of the best and adds in their own unique humor to make it one of the most enjoyable zombie/horror movies to come out in a while.
Starring Jesse Eisenberg, as Columbus, and Woody Harrelson as Tallahassee, Zombieland is a road trip movie complete with a trip to a West Coast amusement park. Think of it as National Lampoon’s Vacation with rage infested zombies. Columbus is your typical geek, a phobic shut-in with a fear of clowns while his travel buddy Tallahassee is is a nothing-to-lose kind of guy who’s on a mission to find some Twinkies. His philosophy is that you’ve got to enjoy the little things in life. Columbus on the other hand as a set of 32 rules that he believes will help him survive the zombie apocalypse.
The 32 rules actually make a bit of sense, Rule #1: Cardio – you need to make sure you stay in shape in order to outrun the zombies. He notes that fatties were among the first to go after the zombies took over because they were easy to catch. Other rules Rule #2: Always wear your seat belt and the best, Rule #3: Always double-tap – you’re not wasting bullets if you’re making sure the zombie is dead. While his rules may seem ridiculous, as the movie progresses you’ll actually see how they’ve helped him last as long as he has.
During one particular stop in search for Twinkies, the duo run into a couple of con-artist sisters; Wichita, played by Emma Stone, and Little Rock, played by Abigail Breslin, who take them for everything they have. After some back and forth shenanigans, the four agree to head out to Los Angeles in search of the rumored last bastion of humanity. Their trip makes a stop in Beverly Hills, where Tallahassee has the bright idea of spending the night at Bill Murray’s house. To say much more about would really ruin all the fun.
Zombieland is focused around four main characters, and in order for it to work needs the actors to put on one hell of a show, thankfully the cast is 100% u to it. You can tell how much fun Woody Harrelson had playing Tallahassee because he was the star of the show. A bad ass redneck enjoying what he does best, killing zombies. Eisenberg does what he does best, the neurotic, self depreciating geek. Emma Stone is her usual sultry self and Breslin delivers some of the best deadpan throughout the film.
Taking cues from other zombie movies, director Ruben Fleischer has a frantic style that really works well. From the opening montage of zombies running wild, to the various zombie attacks, you can tell that the characters live in a world that’s truly screwed. There’s no hope for the way it way, there’s just survival. Clocking in at under 90 minutes might be a little disappointing, but any more and it may have been stretched thin.
Zombieland was a lot of fun, pure and simple. The acting and script were both solid and delivered a lot of laughs. If you’re a fan of zombies, comedies and especially zombie comedies, then this is for you. Don’t go in expecting a horror movie ala Night of the Damned, instead go in with the intent on enjoying yourself and having a laugh.