Zombieland Review

Published 4 years ago by

Short Version: Zombieland is Shaun of the Dead‘s crazy, funny redneck cousin.

zombieland reviews Zombieland Review
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?

Our Rating:

4 out of 5
(Excellent)

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TAGS: 4 star movies, zombieland

48 Comments

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  1. That tagline of the redneck version of Shaun makes me want to go right now! I just watched Shaun last night.

  2. Thx for the review. Sounds like a riot.

  3. Surrogates and Pandorum dind’t receive good reviews, I am happy there finaly one who put up to expectation.

  4. Can’t wait. Goin’ next week sometime.

  5. This movie is awesome

  6. Good thing film reviews are subjective as I found the trailer to zombieland repugnant and insulting.

    Wow 4 out of 5???
    Hard to believe, I would have rated the trailer a 0 out of 5…

  7. @790

    Well we both know that we’re diametrically opposed in our opinions of many films. 8)

    Vic

  8. Mmm, I’m hungry for Twinkies.

  9. @790

    Well, not saying you will like the film more than the trailers since most of the parts that offended you in the trailer will most likely be in the movie, but PERHAPS the movie as a whole would be more enjoyable to you. Who knows, maybe some of the things that you found offensive were misrepresented in the trailer… Although honestly in this case I doubt that, if you hated the trailer that much, you’d probably hate the movie. I’m gonna see it, it reminds me of Left 4 Dead, which I love, so bring it on! lol.

    There were a few times where I was convinced not to watch a movie based on the trailer, but ended up renting it later and finding out that I really like the movie itself… Not very often, just a few times.

    What happens MORE often is watching a trailer that looks awesome, then watching the movie and being really disappointed. Most recently Quantum of Solace… What a freakin let-down…

  10. I can’t watch films where the main characters drive around and kill zombies anymore. Its base and repugnant to me. There doesn’t seem like theres much of a story here…
    Some zombie films are decent “Land of the Dead”, “Evil Dead” the original “Dawn of the Dead” were entertaining but this film looks like a American version of “Shaun of the Dead”.
    While watching the trailer I didn’t laugh once and couldn’t stand the acting…
    Burning out over zombies and beating them with dismembered limbs? Ah that’s ok all pass on that…

  11. k, bye

  12. How would a 15 year old handle this movie? Would
    it be alright for that age in your opinion?

  13. @790

    Haha, yah, there is definitely no shortage on Zombie films. But alas, once again I’m on the opposite side of the fence as you. I generally don’t enjoy the more serious zombie films like the ones you named (well, except Evil Dead, but is that a zombie film??), because, well, how can I really take a zombie film seriously? So for me, I’ve been waiting for a comedic Zombie Film.

    But I see where you’re coming from, it’s like we can’t go a year without a zombie movie, lol. And lately, we can’t go 3 months without a vampire movie, WTF??? lol

  14. Someone used the words base and repugnant in a thread about a zombie-slayer movie. What is the world coming to? I find the use of such words in situations that they aren’t appropriate to somewhat audacious and vainglorious. That being said, Woody Harrelson stars in a movie about four people-inexplicably named after ridiculous towns- who kill zombies. I’m in.

  15. @twistedburton

    Probably OK if they’ve seen R-rated gore previously. Lots of blood, explicit biting of people, graphic head to pavement impacts and other mayhem in the film. A lot of foul language as well.

    Vic

  16. Can’t wait to see this film, bad timing this weekend work!work! and more work! so I bought a warm-up I heard it’s good and might of been because of popularity and reinvention of the genre caused the making of “Zombieland” the film is called “Dance Of the Dead” anybody seen it? Liked it? comments? no spoilers please

  17. You know I was just thinking about “Shaun of The Dead” and how campy and funny that film was.

    But after reflecting I think the 1980′s “The Return of the Dead” was the funniest Zombie-genre film ever What do you think?

    Brains!!!!!!
    actually was it “The Return of the dead” or “The Return of the Living Dead”? Don’t rememeber

  18. How about “Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things”? :-P

    Vic

  19. @Vic
    never Seen “children shouldn’t play with dead things” I will put it on my list.

  20. If I remember what was great about “The Return of the living dead” was that it was promoted as a very scary film and it was riding the coatails of either Romero’s the “Dawn” or maybe the “day”. and there was definitly a desire for more flesh-eating back in the day. And yes the film started out very spooky and scary and then it exploded into this hilairous campy screamy film with the dead asking and craving Brains!!!! without losing the fright tension.
    Terrific

    Now I don’t know if today’s audience would feel the same about this film.

  21. I now know the inspiration for “zombieland” it had to be “Dance of the Dead”—–Great Movie 4 stars for the genre–lots of gore,laugh-out-loud humor,romance, rock n’roll, and good ol zombie butt kicking Amen….now I’m warmed up for “Zombieland”

  22. @Vic – Columbus cussing to bother me because he was an avid online gamer and I’ve never met a teenage gamer that didn’t have salty language.

    I’m glad to FINALLY have a Fall season movie that lived up to expectations. As the movie progressed I fully expected to be pissed off near the end. I won’t explain why for spoiler reasons but I ended up NOT being pissed off.

    The cameo in the movie was fantastic.

    @790 – Honestly bud, it wasn’t a hunting down zombies and kill them movie. It was a survival and group dynamic movie and focused more on the relationships between the group as a whole. Of course Zombies were the main focus as antagonists but the movie worked for me as a whole and the reason “why” Tallahassee (btw Vic it’s spelled with 2 ‘L’s :) ) does why he does was oddly emotional to me, but maybe I’m getting old heh.

    Also, I thought the rules being posted on the screen would become annoying but they didn’t and the onscreen graphics department should be proud because that part was well done.

    If it does well in theaters I bet we see a ZL2.

  23. Just got through watching this flick. It reminded me more of Feast than Shaun of the Dead due to the pop ups. Id give it 3.75 stars because it became formulatic towards the end, and it was just like wtf how could u not know that would cause that to happen. Those who have seen it know what Im talking about when they get to the main destination. LoL the cameo was great.

  24. When I first saw the preview I could have sworn this movie was a remake of Duke Nukem…dope movie though…

  25. Well I want to see it. It does look like it won’t bring anything that original, but does look nice simple zombie fun. Always enjoy that.

    Ok some zombie movies do bore me now, like the Day of the Dead remake. But this one seems more the characters, less the undead. Always a god thing.

  26. Thought this was a great movie. I didn’t really think too much about going to see it this weekend but my friends wanted to so I tagged along and am really glad I did. Hands down the cameo is the funniest scene in the film (can still laugh about it now after seeing it last night).

    Not sure who above said that this film was “formulaic”, but it’s a zombie movie, you know what your walking into, and it’s not like most movies aren’t predictable now-a-days (who goes into a romantic comedy not knowing how it’s going to end?)

  27. I saw the movie last night, and Vic, i will have to disagree with your rating, 4/5 are you joking…4.5/5 is more like it…lol…

  28. @Vic

    Saw the movie tonight, WOW, I went in with high expectations but still thought that it’ll just be a zombie movie, but it WAY exceeded my expectations. What a great movie, I can’t stop thinking about it. I didn’t think it got too long at the end, in fact, I really want to keep seeing it, I want to see what happens next with these four. They did such a great job getting you emotionally tied to the characters, I really felt for them, I actually had that knot in my stomach and was leaning forward in my seat when they looked like they were getting in trouble. I actually had that feeling several times where I was WORRIED that something bad was going to happen to them, it was like I actually knew them and cared what happened to them. They really did a great job with building the characters and making them seem so human that you really connect with them.

    I didn’t have a problem with Columbus cursing. Sure he’s a dork, but I’m surrounded by dorks, and dorks curse just as much as anyone else. Tallahassee was really a bad ass. That last scene he really did kick a whole lot of zombie butt…

    And surprisingly, since I felt so connected to the characters, I found several scenes to be very touching.
    *
    *
    **SLIGHT SPOILER**
    That “puppy” revelation actually got to me, I was very surprised…
    **END SPOILER**
    *
    *
    And that “cameo” wasn’t even a cameo, he had a full fledged role in the movie! lol.
    *
    *
    **SLIGHT SPOILER**
    How that cameo ended was a bit predictable though, but I knew they had to get rid of him one way or another, lol.
    **END SPOILER**

    I honestly felt this was the 2nd best movie I’ve seen all year, 2nd only to Star Trek. Man, this movie made the year so worth it… I can’t wait to see it again. I wish for a sequel, I want to see what happens after the ending of this movie…

    If you are reading this and haven’t seen this movie yet, just go out and watch it, seriously…

  29. ***SLIGHT SPOILER***

    Hey, when Zoey… I mean Wichita turned on the power for Pacific Playland, did anyone else expect to see a little exclamation point and some text to pop up saying “Wichita has alerted the horde”??? lol I so did and so did all of my friends, we all said it at the same time, haha :-D

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