Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) has made a habit of running from what scares him. Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) doesn't have fears. If he did, he'd kick their ever-living ass. In a world overrun by zombies, these two are perfectly evolved survivors. But now, they're about to stare down the most terrifying prospect of all: each other.
What do you get when you mix a perfect blend of comedy, action, horror, and romance? You get Zombieland, perhaps one of the best zombie films of all time. Perfectly casted and well scripted, our characters are real and believable. We cheer them on the whole time they travel through the zombie wasteland, and the ending in the Amusement Park is still one of the most entertaining zombie scenes of all time. Bill Murray makes an astonishingly vivid performance, as Jesse Esienberg brings up the laughs with his quirkiness. Although flimsy on plot, the story shines as just a goup of people struggling with their own humanity. Perfect for movie night, or to bring home to the folks!
ThereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s been a sea-change in the inchoate zombie population. They started out as Haitian voodoo dudes suffering mind control, which IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m sure they werenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t that happy with, but that had to have been better for them than the cursed, magical, lurching, rotting wrecks that guys like George A. Romero changed them into. They remained thus until just recently, when movies like 28 Days Later and the remake of Dawn of the Dead stole their eldritch supernatural mojo, gave them some kind or another mutant blood virus, and let them sprint rather than shamble (much to the chagrin of dudes like the one seeing Romero speak recently at TIFF, cheering and wearing a Ã¢â‚¬Å“Fast Zombies SuckÃ¢â‚¬Â t-shirt). What the zombies think about their new status as speedy, ill unfortunates is unknown. They seem angry though.
As the zombies themselves have matured, so has the film genre itself. Ruben FleischerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Zombieland is an example of a recent spate of genre flicks that are twisting up their common tropes to tell stories that arenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t in any particular traditional way about, say, the zombies that their characters spend most of the film killing (the Spierig Bros. upcoming Daybreakers is another example, a corporate thriller set in the Vampire Apocalypse milieu). Zombieland is at its heart a shy-boy-meets-girl love story, its just that the boy and girl are two of maybe the only four non-zombie humans on Earth.
ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a funny film, led by Jessie Eisenberg as Columbus. He has the same thing going on in this film as he did in this yearÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s very very good Adventureland: a self-assured Woody Allenish nebbishy aggressiveness that is equal parts entertaining and off-putting (as my movie partner pointed out halfway through the film, he has an impossible-to-ignore-once-you-notice-it staring problem).
The film positions itself at a point farther along in a theoretical zombie apocalypse than the normal zombie fodder does, at a point in which the survivors are not particularly scared of the zombies, having developed and honed their survival skills and lethality to the point that they represent little more than a nuisance. The film trades in the traditional zombie movie scares for laughs and gloriously disgusting zombie gore, as the heroes and the filmmakers find more and more brutal ways to kill them. ThereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a scene in the middle of the film that is completely, utterly unexpected and absolutely hilarious, so much so that the film feels like a lead-up to and denouement away from the 8 or 10 minutes smack in the middle of it. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s unfair almost, as its so good that it makes the rest of the film, which isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t in any way bad and is in fact filled with beautiful riotous moments (including a spectacularly pretty title sequence), seem dull in comparison. It can never quite hang together. Taking the fear out of the zombie genre takes the suspense out, and thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a big hole in the heart of this film that is almost filled with humour and character, but unfortunately, not quite. 6.6/10
Are slow-moving zombies or fast-moving zombies your preference? In "Zombieland," the zombies sprint! And as fast as these brain-eaters move, that's how quickly the film bursts opens with both blood and gore and laughs.
Forget "Sorority Girls" and "Jennifer's Body" (that is, if one can forget Megan Fox's body), "Zombieland" is the Halloween's season's first horror hit. And considering that this is about resurrected dead who eat a lot of brains, intestines and hearts, this movie has more heart than most of the ones out there.
Please read the rest of my review here: http://www.examiner.com/x-9764-Horror-Happenings-Examiner~y2009m10d5-Zombieland-laughs-blood-and-heart?cid=examiner-email
This was a really funny movie! But, it is rated Ã¢â‚¬Å“RÃ¢â‚¬Â for a reason. There is a lot of gore (substantial gore) and violence in the movie. But, the nice thing is that it really wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t scary. This is good for people who are interested in seeing a true comedy. I personally really like zombie movies. I wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t sure if I was going to like a comedy based on this theme, but it was great. I really liked how they showed people dying in various ways because they didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t follow ColumbusÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s survival rules. Read my full review here: "http://garretts-attic.net/blog/2009/10/movie-review-zombieland-2009/".
Woody Harrelson steals the show in this funny gross out send up on zombie movies with some clever dialogue and one liners. Too bad the film is in two halves. The first half is hilarious as Woody and a young kid (Jesse Eisenburg) team up to go kill zombies who have taken over most of the world. But in the second half this "buddy" film quickly goes south when they run into two sisters who also are out to survive at all cost. There subplot ruins the chemistry that was entertaining in the first half. The only thing that saves the last half is a long cameo by Bill Murray. Overall worth seeing but should have been a cult classic. Maybe they will do a sequel without the girls next time. Hmmmmm.
At the Movies
Zombieland (PG) * * * *
By ROBERT WALDMAN
End of the world movies can be doom and gloom affairs. Judge for yourself the campy carnage that unfolds during Zombieland, a fresh farce from Columbia Pictures now turning stomachs at Oakridge Cinemas, Empire Esplanade 6, Empire Studio 12, Colossus and Famous Players Silver City cites around B.C. Consider Zombieland to be an Ã¢â‚¬Å“AmericanizedÃ¢â‚¬Â version of BritainÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s hit wonder Shaun of the Dead, only more so.
Over the top fun is the order of the day right from the get go when a nerd basically scared of his own shadow looks to be the only human survivor remaining on the planet. Not so fast, fearless one, for timid Columbus links up with renegade macho man Tallahassee and the pair do their best to ward off hordes of flesh eating scum.
Just when you think youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve had your fill of this bloodletting the pair meet up with a couple of female survivors. Young Little Rock and older sis Witchita give our two boys a run for the money as they match wits with each other and the scores of non-human attackers as they battle to survive.
Smart, short and sassy, Zombieland is one hell of a flambouyant fun fest made moreso because of the truly witty dialogue and the great interchange between all the characters. Yes, there is lots of flesh munching and body parts scattered in all imaginable directions but this violence surge takes a back seat to the more Ã¢â‚¬Å“personalÃ¢â‚¬Â issues each of our road warriors faces.
Real strong uncertainty is wisely given off by Jesse Eisenberg (Adventureland) who continues to grow with each and every role he takes on. Here heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s terrific as the klutz wrestling with all sorts of adolescent issues weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve all faced along with a knack for taking on the zombies. Old reliable Woody Harrelson (North Country) is at his aw shucks good old country boy best as the wise-cracking, take no prisoners Tallahassee who gives rednecks everywhere a good name.
Female sparks fly off the screen mainly through Emma Stone (Superbad) who nicely embodies a woman on the run with Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine) playing her younger sis in a pretty standard way and not offering up too much new.
Farce in the extreme is well pulled off by Ruben Fleischer who knows how to spoof real good and here the zaniness of the whole situation is pulled off brilliantly with a bunch of one-liner jokes sure to have you laughing silly.
Read more reviews by Robert at www.moviereviewssite.com
Zombieland, a Mr. E Movie Review
(Run time: 81 min. - Directed by: Ruben Fleischer - Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, Abigail Breslin, Bill Murray)
Woody Harrelson is kick ass and out of hand in the ghoulish world of Zombieland! I'm telling you Zombieland is the funniest, most entertaining zombie movie ever! The Zombieland experience is what going to the movies should be! And, Jesse Eisenberg rips the land right out of adventure and blows it straight through the chest and head of Zombieland!
The worlds gone crazy and become infected with disease. Everyone, everywhere seems to be infected it by it. First it's a fever that leads to madness, and madness that ultimately leads to a fetish for flesh! The opening of this movie has one of the best title sequences I honestly think I've ever seen! As Columbus, played by Jesse Eisenberg from Adventureland, begins his voice over to catch us up on the madness we see visually assaulting us in a borage of creative, stunning zombie kills, all while Metallica's "For Whom the Bell Tolls" rocks out in the background.
Zombies are on the loose everywhere and no one is safe! Well, unless you follow a few simple rules.#1. Cardio, because if they can't catch you they can't eat you! #2. Beware of Bathrooms, because zombies attack when they know your vulnerable, so hold it! #3. Double Tap, don't be stingy with your bullets, always make sure the zombie's dead with one shot to the chest and one to the head! Add in a few other rules such as buckle up and always check the backseat and you get what plays out in the first scene! Columbus stops at a gas station and is attacked when he tries to use the bathroom. He then has to run around the parking lot to avoid the two slower zombies who are attacking him. all while trying to get the keys into his car door. When he finally gets into the car he buckles in but forgets to check the back seat which of course has a zombie in it! Speeding into a wall he ejects the zombie through the windshield and of course has to double tap him. (Hilarious!)
Now on foot and trying to make his way home to Columbus, Ohio he runs into the tough as hell, smart ass Tallahassee, played by Woody Harrelson. (See a theme in the names?) Tallahassee is the baddest zombie killer there is! He actually make's killing zombie's into an art form! Using everything from a banjo to a baseball bat to make his kills! The two decide to team up and hit the road with Columbus heading for home and Tallahassee looking for a Twinkie. (Yeah, that's right I said Twinkie!)
When the two stop in a town to check if the grocery store has any Twinkies left they run into three zombie's and two sisters, Wichita, played by Emma Stone from Superbad, and Little Rock, played by Abigail Breslin from Little Miss Sunshine. Initially thinking they're helping the girls the guys are tricked by the two cons and robbed. But, not too far down the road they all decide that they should team up with the only other humans they've seen in awhile and head off.
Ruben Fleischer used the actual rules as cool graphics worked into the screen shots as sight gags that play out so well that it really adds simple, perfectly timed elements throughout the movie that really make the Zombieland experience that much more entertaining. Fleischer's slow motion camera tricks were so bad ass in that they really gave you the opportunity to visually absorb the action as it plays out to a point where you can actually appreciate it for what it is.
Everyone's acting was right on point. Jesse Eisenberg had just the right amount of funny likeable, nerdiness while Emma Stone was cute and tough all at the same time. Young Abigail Breslin played an outstanding little tough chick while the movie's stand out performance goes to the zombie crusher himself, Woody Harrelson. I think this is one of the best roles Woody's played since Natural Born Killers! Finally, when you add in a hilarious cameo by Bill Murray you really get movie magic!
I recommend this movie to anyone breathing, mainly because zombie's probably won't like the way they're depicted in this film. All I have to say is that if you want an awesome movie going experience then check out Zombieland! And, then do like me and make plans to check it out again!