Who would of thought that out of all the new movies that opened this weekend Zombieland would not only be the most successful but the best received as well? I don’t really get it because even though I liked the film it’s certainly nothing I’ll remember. Sure it’s got some good laughs and nice effects but I think the “zombie” genre is pretty much burned out when it comes to developing stories that are fresh and original.
Narrated by and starring Jesse Eisenberg (who comes off as a slightly nerdier Michael Cera) Zombieland follows Columbus (Eisenberg), an awkward college student who accredits his long-lasting survival in a post-apocalyptic world to a set of zombie survival rules he’s devised. As the film goes on we are constantly reminded of these, such as “Rule 1: Cardio” or “Rule 3: Beware of Bathrooms” popping up on the screen every now and then and it’s a funny little slice of ingenuity. Later on Columbus meets up with Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) a weapon toting adrenaline junkie with a passion for two things; killing zombies and twinkies. I’ve always liked Harrelson and here he delivers on what will probably go down as one of his most memorable roles (at least on a cult level.) Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) round out the group as a pair of mischievous con-sisters and complete what essentially is a pretty good cast.
Next I’ll address our antagonists the zombies. Unlike the classic lumbering, George A. Romero zombies, these creatures probably have more in common with the overly excited creatures of the 28 Day series. They’re aggressive, messy, gross and always seem to be leaking some kind of fluid but obviously it’s just to enhance the humor. Personally I found them too gross, I’m under the opinion that vomit is funny but you got to know where to draw the line. Fortunately, none of this changes the fact that they’re still mindless, resulting in many comical situations topped off with plenty of inventive kills.
Easily the best part of this movie was a cameo from who else but Bill Murray. I won’t spoil anything but for anyone who loves Bill Murray you got to see this movie, he is hilarious. So as the film nears an end we are brought to a place in Los Angeles called “Pacific Play Land” a theme park where our heroes head thinking that it’s an unaffected area… Of course they’re wrong resulting in a gory free for all that although entertaining is too over the top. Yeah, yeah it’s a zombie/comedy but I just don’t believe that someone would get on a theme park ride to avoid zombies or to fight zombies. The whole sequence is a little silly but whatever, I guess it’s something I’ve never seen in a movie.
So Zombieland is a fine movie. It certainly doesn’t deserve the kind of praise it’s gotten but it’s a nice addition to the Halloween season. Maybe my rating is a little unfair in other’s eyes but that’s how the twinkie crumbles.