Just imagine: a world where any car or home you find, you can have; a time when you can shoot off your guns in the middle of Times Square; a place where you can eat all the Twinkies you want…if you can find them.
The only problem: running for your life from zombies, and a constant fear of using the bathroom.
Welcome to Zombieland.
Rule #1 of this review: If you haven’t seen Zombieland, run to the nearest theater showing it. If it’s closed, wait outside until it opens. Yes, this movie was that good. Even more, it lived up to the hype.
For years, the pinnacle of a horror-comedy was Shaun of the Dead, and with good reason. That movie made even the meagerly depraved laugh at the sight of fellow human beings becoming lunch, as well as pelted with classic LPs. But now, with Woody Harrelson at the helm, Zombieland has taken the crown.
The world has been decimated by a plague of zombies. It is unknown how this came about, possibly some mutated mad-cow disease, but by watching any other zombie movie ever made, you can probably make a safe assumption as to how this came about. Did we really need another explanation as to why there are angry, flesh-eating people running around oozing blood? Not really.
Columbus (played by Jesse Eisenberg) begins a journey from his college apartment in Austin, Texas to his home in Columbus, Ohio to find his parents, in the hope that they have survived this zombie apocalypse. Armed with his trusty double-barreled shotgun and a handwritten set of rules to help him survive, he sets off, avoiding public bathrooms along the way as well as walking corpses. On his travels, he meets Tallahassee (played by Woody Harrelson), an aficionado of the zombie-killing trade, whose sole purpose in the aftermath of zombies is to find an edible Twinkie.
The two scavengers come across two sisters, Wichita (played by Emma Stone) and Little Rock(played by Abigail Breslin) who con them into giving them, pretty much, all of their survival gear, and leave them in the dust on a course to an amusement park. The lads catch up with them, eventually, and through their trials of surviving in a world full of zombies, learn that family doesn’t necessarily mean a blood relation. A heart-warming tale, filled with a helluva lot of zombies.
There really is no other way to describe this movie. Jesse Eisenberg, while believed to be a poor-man’s Michael Cera to most of the film-watching community, does an outstanding job as the safe survivalist, adding dry humor to the clown of the film, Woody Harrelson. Woody Harrelson, of course, plays the role of the gun-toting, “have some fun killin zombies while you’re still alive” renegade. If the Twinkie jokes weren’t enough, Harrelson garners enough one-liners to give the most distinguished of internet forum dwellers something to do. Emma Stone is, of course, hot. That does not diminish her presence as a cut-throat, “do what it takes” survivalist, especially when it comes to protecting her little sister.
The film itself is rife with action and comedy. The use of slow-motion zombie kills, the trashing of everything in sight, and the visual gags of the zombies themselves(such as a zombie clown) all come together under an umbrella of a fantastic survival movie in line with Lord of the Flies. It’s just a little more campy, so as not to get too full of itself.
Oh, and a certain cameo had me almost on the floor laughing, if I wasn’t stuck in movie theater seating.
Rule #4 of this review: Explain the movie’s flaws in a critical, but helpful, fashion.
The only thing I can say that this movie lacked was a full-fledged plot. Luckily, it doesn’t need one. If it did have an elaborate plot, the movie wouldn’t have had quite the power it holds. Sure, they throw a love interest into a zombie survival story, but why not? Who wouldn’t be interested in Emma Stone? And yes, ladies, there’s enough Woody Harrelson for you, too. This movie is just good, knee-slapping fun. With zombies. Like Columbus’ Rule #32 states: Enjoy The Little Things.
Rule #5 of this review: Give the movie a rating on a scale from 1-5.
I give this movie 5 out of 5 Twinkies.
Now go see it, already. Oh, that was Rule #1, wasn’t it.