Zombieland - Movie Review


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It's been a pretty good year for horror flicks and luckily it's getting topped off with Zombieland, a bloody fun romp through the post-apocalyptic United States. But I have to be honest, I was really worried going into it. For anyone into the horror genre lately it's not hard to see that zombies are "in." Just like pirates were "in" until the 3'rd Caribbean movie came out and ruined it for all of us. Zombieland is filled with great set-pieces, innovative weapons, fun objectives, and any other way you could describe a good videogame. What I didn't expect were great characters, and here is where Zombieland really truly delivers.

Jessie Eisenberg (from the oddly similar and quite-good-despite-the-fact-that-i-didn't-review -it-because-i'm-lazy Adventureland) stars as Columbus, who after the zombie uprising kept his scrawny self alive by adopting a long list of rules similar to the one anyone could form had they only taken notes while watching all of the Dawn of the Dead movies (as I did). The rules are typographically displayed here-and-there for the benefit of the viewer, but we only wish they could be viewed by his rough-neck companion Tallahassee who takes down zombies more for points of creativity rather than pure need for survival.

The movie gets off to a rough start with it's dedication to Columbus' voice as a narrator. The set-up is entertaining and very funny, but is often unnecessary in the amount of information given to us. Do we really need to be told where the kid is heading? Do we need to be told how he feels about the other characters? Not really, not for me at least. I want to see this information in action. Luckily i do, but being told kind of spoils the reveal of finding out for ourselves. Let the characters figure things out on their own. It's forgiven though because really, we mostly just want some zombie action, and of course Zombieland has much in store.

The action is really similar to that of recent videogames, down to the detail of shooting a button here to save the person there. It's quite brilliant because any gamer can tell the movie really knows this. What does Columbus do when he is chased to his car and mistakenly drops his keys? He runs in a circle of course. It's the solution to beating every boss, provided (the Survival Guide notes) that you have the cardio to do it.

As a horror film there are certainly enough surprises. As a comedy there are even more, down to the best cameo of the year that couldn't be spoiled even if you already know who's waiting around the corner. The film is intense because you actually care for these people, and knowing how just about every other zombie feature ends, I really found myself hoping it would turn out differently.

Zombieland really works. It's exactly everything a zombie lover could want, and finds itself well worthy of placement next to the best in the genre. See it.

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