Saturday, October 17, 2009

Zombieland Review


The zombie genre is one that is near and dear to my heart, and nothing pleases me more than a good zombie movie. You might ask; what is the criteria for a “good” zombie picture exactly? Well, it can be one of two elements really. 1: intelligent use of social and political satire, or 2: a creative, over-the-top and clever mix of gore and kick-ass fun. Romero’s Dawn of the Dead had the first element, Ruben Fleischer’s Zombieland has the second, and a whole lot of it.

 Zombieland stars Jessie Eisenberg as Columbus, Woody Harrelson as Tallahassee and Abigail Breslin and Emma Stone as Little Rock and Wichita. The names represent the characters hometowns, a device used to avoid the heartache that comes with losing someone you know, and in Zombieland, loss is commonplace. Eisenberg is great as Columbus, a character who is a creature of controls, and has set a seemingly neurotic list of rules one must follow in order to survive in Zombieland. The rules, such as “Rule 1: Cardio,” or “Rule 4: Don’t be a hero” serve to protect both the individuals mortality and mentality. The film introduces the rules quite creatively, and the irony of these introductions is nothing short of darkly hilarious moments of pure zombie movie fun.

The story of Zombieland is simple, a group of accidental miscreants just trying to survive in this post-apocalyptic zombie nightmare. In its simplicity, the film seems to lose a bit of focus at times, and may leave some wondering what exactly the story is. Well, I don’t think Zombieland is a film that much cares for story, and oddly, it works. Other zombie comedies like Shaun of the Dead exist to tell a tale, whereas Zombieland exists to introduce a place. There is a subtle love story melded in its chaos, but really, who cares?

The audience Zombieland was made for want to see Clown zombies being pummeled by carnival rides, or Stripper zombies chasing patrons with a trail of ones flying in their wake. Zombieland is that fun movie where you just sit back, route for the characters on screen, laugh and applaud their “make the most of it” attitudes towards their whole situation. Yes, Zombieland is a simple film, but that is why it works. Harrelson is absolutely hilarious as the creative ass kicking Tallahassee, who makes a game out of survival in Zombieland. The funniest part of Zombieland however, involves a cameo that may just be the greatest of all time, a scene that is alone worth the price of admission.

Movie MacGuffin is Tony Nunes

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