Short Version: Zombieland is Shaun of the Dead‘s crazy, funny redneck cousin.
Screen Rant reviews Zombieland
Don’t kid yourself going into Zombieland: It is a VERY gory movie. So if based on trailers and commercials you’re expecting just a funny, goofy film, you’ll be in for a surprise. On the other hand if you’re a fan of the zombie movie genre, you’re in for a great time.
Zombieland is about a couple of guys trying to get by after the zombie apocalypse. Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) is a shut-in, introverted geek with a fear of clowns and Talahassee is a nothing-to-lose, redneck badass who’s finally discovered his gift in life: Zombie killin’. Oh – and Talahassee’s one burning goal is to find some Twinkies so he can satisfy his burning craving for them.
Columbus has managed to survive because even before the zombies took over he didn’t like being around people and was very paranoid. He’s developed a list of rules for surviving in a world overrun by zombies, and the first few are highlighted hysterically in the opening minutes of the film. Among them include Rule #1: Cardio – it goes back to the old joke about not having to outrun the bear, just your buddy. He notes that “fatties” were among the first to go after the zombies took over because they were easy to catch. Other rules include “Beware of bathrooms” (you don’t want to get caught by a zombie while on the toilet) and “Always double-tap” (two gunshots, whacks with a blunt object or blade to be sure the zombie stays down).
There are a few additional rules sprinkled throughout (he has over 30) and they’re used to good effect.
Then we have Talahassee, who you’ll like immediately – he’s apparently taken the situation in stride, no, strike that – he actually seems to be enjoying it. His favorite thing to do in the world is to kill zombies. He’s travelling in a Cadillac Escalade, armed to the teeth, and you’ll get a kick out of the creativity and gusto he uses when dispatching the undead.
Our heroes meet Wichita and Little Rock (Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin), who have also found unique ways to survive the zombie mayhem. However part of their survival has included not trusting anyone, so things are sketchy between both pairs for quite a while.
Eventually they end up in Beverly Hills, where they pick up a “Map of the Star’s Homes” in order to find a certain celebrity’s home where they can relax for a while. There’s a great cameo in the film and I won’t spoil who it is. Soon after the girls head to an amusement park in the LA area so that Little Rock can have at least a little childhood fun, but things take a sour turn, requiring rescue from the boys.
As I mentioned in my “Short Version” this is a lot rougher than the only other recent zombie comedy I can think of, Shaun of the Dead. That one had more of that dry, Brit humor and at times was scary than this film (this film really wasn’t scary at all, just gory).
Zombieland was a lot of fun, but even though it only had about a 90 minute runtime, by the end it seemed to me like they were stretching it out a bit – I think most of that was in the final scene in the amusement park… could have been trimmed somewhat. I thought everyone in the film was great, but one think that bugged me a little was some of Jesse Eisenberg’s dialog: He played the character as a really, meek, introverted, geeky kind of guy so the spurts of f-bombs and other foul language coming from him really seemed added for cheap laughs. Yes, I know this is an R-rated film and I have no issue with foul language if it fits – but for his character I just didn’t think it did.
Those nits aside, I thought Zombieland was a lot of fun with many laugh out loud moments and lots of gore to satisfy fans of the genre – but do me a favor and leave the kids at home for this one, would ya?