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Zombieland

 

 
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Runtime: 88 min
 
Synopsis: A shy student trying to reach his family in Ohio, and a gun-toting tough guy trying to find the Last Twinkie and a pair of sisters trying to get to an amusement park join forces to travel across a zombie-filled America.
 
Release Date: October 2, 2009
 
Written By: Rhett Reese
 
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3.5/5


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Posted October 4, 2009 by

 
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ZombielandWelcome to Zombieland, a light serving of black comedy about the world being overrun by, you guessed it, zombies. Without boring us with an explanation as to why… check 28 Days Later and  Dawn of The Dead for explanation, we are made to follow a young college student (Jesse Eisenberg) on his journey to Columbus, Ohio in hopes of finding his parents. Columbus (each character is named after their destination) chronicles a zombie rule book of sorts throughout his survival with advice like “buckle up” and “cardio” to help in avoiding the zombies. Along the way, Columbus  runs into Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) who offers him a ride to his destination, while he himself is in search of the simplest of all things, a twinkie. The two soon meet Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin), two sisters who have managed to take care of each other in surviving the zombie scourge. The four survivors head out together to reach their separate destinations in a world completely overrun by flesh eating zombies.

For you zombie loving movie-watchers, you will not be disappointed at the creative methods of death that Tallahassee visits on them. Like the ever popular Shaun of the Dead, this is a parody of the more serious plague and epidemic movies where living corpses begin to chase people in order to eat them. Each character represents a different human trait and as they seek out their own individual goals it begins to sink in that maybe all they have left is each other.

Woody Harrelson is a real draw for Zombieland, from the initial trailers to the actual movie itself, you could tell that he was the reason to watch it. What’s not to love about a carefree redneck stuck in a world full of zombies? It really wasn’t a simple role to play being that there were so many ways he could have turned out to be annoying, unfunny or just wrong. Still Woody’s Tallahassee seemed a bit more genuine than corny one-line jokes, mock swagger or over-used cliches. No Tallahassee was a real cowboy who absolutely loves the destruction of zombies by any means necessary. For me, Tallahassee was probably the most entertaining portion of Zombieland next to Columbus’s book of rules.

While Jesse Eisenberg proved to be a love-able introvert or dare I say nerd cliche, his act seemed just a bit too much like Michael Cera’s. This I bring up because I’ve already grown tired of Cera’s act, last night a friend and I made a bet as to when the general audience will grow tired of it too. So seeing the same “I’m a loser who doesn’t do well with girls so let me hunch my shoulders, look pathetic and talk about it” act from a different person just made me think of Cera the entire time. While watching the movie and laughing at his zombie survival rules and failing quest at love, the pathetic, woe be me comedy just kept reminding me of every character Michael Cera plays. It made me wonder if he would have been better for this role.

Emma Stone’s character Wichita bothered the hell out of me, she looks strikingly similar to Mila Kunis and wore this awful eyeliner muck that made her seem crazy. Anyway if the role called for a drab, selfish, man eater then I guess she nailed it. Being arguably one of the last women left on earth during a parody of sorts does make sense for her to be cast as such, I just really, really disliked her. Abigail Breslin however was awesome and some of the scenes that incorporated her interaction with the other characters were probably my favorite. Although I was impressed with the situations of Columbus (how can you not laugh at a guy whose first attempt at a relationship with a girl almost causes him to get eaten), the wit of Tallahassee and the innocence of Little Rock. The dynamic or lack thereof behind Emma Wichita could have used a bit more explanation.

If you have a chance to watch Zombieland, do not hesitate, it’s worth your time. It is the right way to parody a popular movie genre and it was actually funny and interesting. I would like to see something like this done successfully to mock the unoriginal abundance of vampire movies these days since Zombieland never gets old. Not the spiciest but far from bland, Zombieland is an excellent movie whose visuals will probably see more appreciation on Blu-Ray/DVD than in the actual box office.


Greg Dragon

 
Cinephile and opinion writer, Greg Dragon has been a fan of movies since the 80's when Kung Fu theater was all the rage and Roger Moore was James Bond. Greg is the founder and lead critic of Spicy Movie Dogs. You can follow him on Twitter @Rafacus or on his Google+ account.


  • Trevor

    I think you switched the review for wichita and little rock. Emma Stone is so very likable and cutehot as hell. I don’t think the “infinite loser” character will get old too quick, seeing as it identifies with a lot of people. Never being awesome with the ladies I like watching these guys act slightly more awkward than myself. I do agree Harrelson made the movie. Bill Murray was awesome too lol.