Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Zombieland (2009)


Columbus (Jessie Eisenberg), who suffers from a life time of social anxiety, phobias, and loneliness, survives the zombie infested world by adhering to a strict set of rules. One day he meets up with the wild and over the top Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), and the two team up despite their polar opposite personalities. After several run ins with sister con artists, Wichita (Emma Stone), and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin), the group of four create an unlikely team as Columbus must challenge his strict rules for the betterment of them all.

So after countless rave reviews, Zombieland went from a 6 to a 10 on my must view scale, and as such I went out to see it yesterday while on fall break with my sister, and mom. Getting exactly what I wanted Zombieland was over the top action packed, riddled with great comedic lines, moments built on its own foundation, and it just plain works. So many comedies these days just hop from spoof to spoof with no point/plot, while Zombieland has its idea and goes with it. Not abandoning it's central idea, the movie is a tale of finding family by four people, each with complicated pasts that highlight their current situation.

Though what makes the movie work is its characters. Breslin + Stone are fun, off the wall, with Stone standing out as the conniving, but beautiful, Wichita. At the same time Eisenberg once again shows he is among the best modern geek performers, almost makes you want to put him in and Cera in a steel cage match. Though the true scene stealer has to be Harrelson as the mysterious Tallahassee, whose over the top fight scenes, and crazy attitude provides an almost incalculable number of laughs. The movie does come with a "surprise" cameo (though you've probably heard of it by now), which is perfectly hilarious, but feels all too scripted.

First time director Ruben Fleischer shows a real aptitude for creating scenes, and a goofy sense of surroundings. While he seems to struggle with narrative, his ability for action scenes, and pure fun comes out at every turn, really aiding the movie's over the top comedic moments. Fleischer gets aid from a great writing effort from Reese and Wernick, who are first time feature writers, and have a great gift for movie messages and taking cliche subjects/characters and giving them new life. At the same time, the characters are refreshingly non-preachy, nor do they come with any over the top insane backstories that make you question why. Instead they're as simple as they care complex, as fun as they are likable, and all around just make for a great film experience.

Fun, smart, and well written, Zombieland is a highly enjoyable experience, that really gets you in the mood for some more zombie comedies.

1 better thoughts:

LuckyCricket said...

Great review, agreed with everything I read. Was pleasantly surprised at how close this film got to 'Shaun of the Dead' on my Gore-tastic scale of greatest zombie movies after viewing it.

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