You know, I didn’t expect to leave the theater going “aww, that was kind of sweet!” after seeing a zombie movie. I chalk it up to my somewhat twisted sense of humor, but, truthfully, it’s what Zombieland did to me. And I’m happy to report that the entire movie was pure awesome.
Forgive my review skills, they have never been the greatest according to my past professors — but what do they know? Oh… wait, they actually worked in the journalism industry.
The movie starts with an explanation of what’s going on in the world, and a fantastic slow-motion depiction of zombies in various states of attack. This was one of those grab-you-by-the-balls intros and should go down in history as one of the best. Mad Cow disease became Mad Human Disease and that, my friends, is what causes zombies. A simple explanation, and one that makes me give becoming a vegetarian a second thought.
Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), our main character and narrator, meets up with Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) and the two are completely opposite people. Columbus is the socially awkward gamer with phobias and IBS who didn’t know the world around him was going zombie until his hot neighbor tried to eat him and Tallahassee is the definition of badass with an affinity for twinkies, great one liners and getting zombie kill of the week. They eventually meet up with Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin–Little Miss Sunshine herself), two smart and saavy sisters who con people for a living. Columbus lives by his rules, rules to survive Z Land, and they pop up throughout the movie whenever they’re demonstrated.
(Rule #1: Cardio. Rule #2: Double Tap–don’t think of it as wasting ammo, think of it as survival, and the list goes on.)
Tallahassee is simply trying to stay alive, Columbus is trying to get back home to Ohio to see if his family is still alive and the sisters are searching for an amusement park they heard was zombie free. The four characters end up traveling with each other for a while, after some awkward situations and a Mexican stand off, and in the process of driving to LA they destory a Native American gift shop to vent some anger and frustration. Tallahassee is a firm believer that letting go of your frustration by destroying things is the only way to keep your head straight in a world that doesn’t leave room for petty mistakes.
Throughout the course of the movie everyone gets a little closer, finally settling into the the mansion of one of Hollywood’s A list stars. It’s in this house that Tallahassee reveals his past, and that makes him more then the one-dimensional badass zombie killer that he’s initially portrayed as. Wichita and Columbus almost get too close and the group splits the next morning.
The two sisters make it to the amusement park in LA and find that it is zombie free. And it would stay that way until the lights came on, a giant beacon to all the local zombies that said “Hey, come eat us!” Tallahassee and Columbus, now friends, go to the theme park to find the girls and decide to save them after seeing the horde of zombies gathered around them, desperately trying to eat them. Utilizing the innate danger of theme park attractions, Tallahassee kicks some major ass and Columbus confronts his number one fear.
In the end Little Rock and Wichita are saved, Tallahassee gets his Twinkies and Columbus gets the girl, plus something extra: a family. It’s not one of those things I expected at the end of a zombie movie, a really genuine feel good ending. Some would say that Shaun of the Dead had one of those, and it almost did, but…
Zombieland manages to give you all the great, disgusting and juicy gore that is a requisite of a good zombie film and add a light-hearted feel that felt natural with story. It’s getting really good reviews for a reason, and I have to agree with the critics on this one. It’s a good addition to zombie movies and the horror/comedy genre of films.
I’d like to say that the movie was slightly realistic, but how I would really know that? It’s not like I’ve ever encountered a real flesh-eating zombie.
Not yet, anyway.
Rachel gives this a 5/5, plus will save up for the blu ray.