US (dir. Ruben Fleischer)
Cast: Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, Abigail Breslin, Bill Murray
Review: You might think of “Zombieland” as a typical zombie movie without many stand-out qualities that merit you spending time and/or money to see. However, “Zombieland” works hard to entertain, amuse and make you laugh. It has a great cast for one (Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, Amber Heard, Bill Murray) and it has a lot of fun with itself almost in a way that makes you feel like the characters are aware that their situation is a comedic one and that they have to find humour in everything around them. I liked how it was a very “roll with the punches” group of characters, with each character just flowing with the comedy and not one individual sticking out by either moping or wallowing in the sadness of the apocalyptic zombie situation.
The main character (Columbus, named so because he came from Columbus, Ohio) is a neurotic college kid who obeys his self made survival rules until he meets Tallahassee, played fantastically by Woody Harrelson. Tallahassee teaches him his own rules of survival and how life cannot be taken so seriously. They team up and run into two sisters with their own twisted knack for survival. After two instances where the sisters outwit the guys and steal their survival supplies, the two teams join up and make it their mission to visit an amusement park in Los Angeles. They have some misadventures along the way, including one HILARIOUS instance involving Bill Murray and an accidental shooting. The film wraps up quite nicely in the end as well.
I was so happy that the neurotic main character was not played by Michael Cera. Instead we get a fresh face (Jesse Eisenberg) to play a role that just screams “cast Michael Cera”. Not that I detest Cera or anything, but he’s just way too over-exposed and to see him in a horror movie (even a comedic one) would just be too much. Plus Cera always adds way too much neuroticism to every role, and I think Eisenberg strikes a good balance between average guy and neurotic loser which makes his character feel more realistic. Woody Harrelson is of course, a delight, in this film and I really couldn’t think of anyone more perfect to play the role of a whiskey drinking, American SUV driving, zombie killing, badass. I also thought Amber Heard was great, even though she only had a 10 minute scene (she plays a GREAT zombie!).
This movie definitely feels more focused towards a teenagerish age group and I think the director was very aware that he was making his film that way. It feels video-gamey and it also includes an amusement park ending, so it really just screams 16-20 year old age group. In fact I can very much imagine this film making a great basis for a shoot ’em up video game since a lot of the action feels like pleasure/thrill killing all the way through. I also really enjoyed the subtly (and not subtly) added captions incorporated into the movie that described certain survival rules that the characters were following and the opening slow motion sequence was wonderfully done with som spectacular editing.
“Zombieland” is definitely a fun movie, and while it won’t have you laughing hysterically or screaming in fear, it will entertain you and draw you in. While it’s not a must-see movie, and certainly not on the level of “Shaun of the Dead”, I definitely think it’s a good one to check out if you’ve seen the trailers and thought “Hmmm I might like that!”