Horror comedies have always been a tricky thing to pull off. Thankfully , Zombieland does that perfectly and more. It’s a refreshingly hilarious zombie comedy with a whole lot of heart and charm along with a considerable dose of killing off zombies in the most creative possible ways. In other words, it’s exactly what was [...]
Horror comedies have always been a tricky thing to pull off. Thankfully , Zombieland does that perfectly and more. It’s a refreshingly hilarious zombie comedy with a whole lot of heart and charm along with a considerable dose of killing off zombies in the most creative possible ways. In other words, it’s exactly what was needed for a subgenre that was on the verge on death with recent box-office bombs like ‘Jennifer’s Body’.
Zombieland begins with a voiceover from Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) explaining how the world suddenly came to a violent end due to the spread of a human version of the ‘Mad Cow’ disease turning everyone into flesh eating zombies. As one of the only survivors, he lives by a whole set of rules that ensure his safety at all times. On his way to his hometown, he meets Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), a crazy gunslinger that with no rules and a penchant for two things – eating twinkies and killing zombies in the most hilariously creative ways possible. As they continue on their journey, they meet two sisters Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) and Wichita (Emma Stone) and together depart on a journey to get to the rumored place with no zombies – Pacific Playland.
Shaun of the Dead is hailed as the greatest horror comedy of all time (and with good measure), but Zombieland comes pretty damn close to that title. Although it’s more of an action comedy with hardly any scares, the comedy bits are hilarious. Columbus’ rules of survival (Don’t be a hero, Always check the backseat) are demonstrated in a refreshing original pattern and the quotable dialogue here almost rivals Shaun. And just like Shaun, what makes Zombieland a fun ride are the characters. Each one of them are fully fleshed out and relatable in their troubles. Columbus is a antisocial and insecure guy who never had a girlfriend before and sticks to the rules to survive, while Tallahassee is the polar opposite bad-ass who loves to enjoy the little things in life. Ultimately, it’s a zombie comedy with a group of survivors that learn from each other during a time of crisis giving the movie a unique charm and heart of its own.
But the center of action here is what every moviegoer buying a ticket for this film will be craving for – zombie killing. And Zombieland gives that to you in spades. Tallahassee deconstructs the elements involved in killing a zombie in the most creative ways by using offbeat weaponry and tactics, and it’s a lot of fun to see him do that. Plus, the final act set in an adventure park overrun by zombies is one 20 minute stretch of zombie killing goodness. There’s also a surprise extended cameo from an A-list star (which I won’t spoil) which ranks with Tom Cruise from Tropic Thunder in pure hilarity. The movie not always surface thrills though, as it uses zombies as a metaphor for how detached we have become to our fun-loving side in life and as Columbus narrates, “Without other people, you might as well be a zombie.”
The minor gripes I have with the film are that the movie begins to lag a little behind after the end of the surprise cameo as the romantic track sets in, but things change once the pumped up third act sets in. Also, not many people might know this, but there’s an extended scene in the movie that is entirely lifted from a little known Stallone poker movie called ‘Shade’. But these do not change the fact that the film is pure fun from start to finish and is likely to become a guilty pleasure for years to come.
Woody Harrelson gives an iconic performance as the star of the show here, with his character almost resembling his own Mickey from ‘Natural Born Killers’ and manages to show his comedic and action chops in pure unadulterated fashion. Jesse Eisenberg plays the nerdy character with shades of Michael Cera but only with much more range and charm. Emma Stone looks hot and plays her character well, and Abigail Breslin surprises in a violent role too.
Overall, if you’re looking for a fun time at the theaters this week, look no further than Zombieland. It’s got plenty of action, even more comedy to keep you laughing and best of all, there are hordes of zombies waiting to be killed. It doesn’t get any better than that.