Dec 14, 2009

[Movies] Zombieland (2009)

Zombieland (2009)I've mentioned a number of times now that zombies have gained popularity in recent days for some reason. It's not overly deliberate that I seem to be reviewing a number of zombie movies these days - there are just so many of them, it's hard to avoid it completely. Just wait for me to get around to reviewing DC's Blackest Night story arc once it finishes.

The typical zombie story has seen certain variations in recent years such as making the zombies being capable of running for a change or making them capable of limited speech. Whatever the variation, we end up with mixed results in terms of how these movies fare in the public arena. I'm not a particularly major zombie follower, but I do enjoy tracking the different techniques and seeing how things go.

I think I'm developing a taste for zombie comedies, though.

ZombielandImage via Wikipedia

Zombieland is a zombie comedy (yes, it's now an actual movie genre) that follows the attempts to survive by a college guy named Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) who is trying to make his way to his parents in Columbus, Ohio. He's survived the zombie takeover of most of North America by following a steadily expanding list of personal rules - rules that are presented throughout the movie in comical ways.

In his journey, he encounters a somewhat stereotypical redneck character named Tallahasse (Woody Harrelson) and later still the sisters Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin). The four eventually become a group traveling across the country, trying to survive the zombie horrors one way or another.

Eisenberg's portrayal of Columbus reminded me too much of Michael Cera's performance in Juno - the parallels are obvious. He managed the whole unassumingly geeky survivor role well and it actually becomes plausible why he was able to survive the zombies when so many others had failed to do so.

The humor of the movie is spectacular, as best epitomized by the various "rules" of survival that flash throughout the movies. First, the rules themselves are pretty humorous - classic ones include "Cardio" as stressing the need to be capable of running at all times (since the zombies can, too) or others still like "Beware of Bathrooms" which pretty much remind you never to relax your guard, especially when you're on the throne (since the zombies retain some intelligence and can learn).

The group have decent enough camaraderie despite the apparent mistrust evident all throughout. The fact that they call each other by their hometowns instead of their actual names talks about the lack of full trust at the start, but over time they do warm up to one another. I suppose fighting for your lives together can do that to a group of people in a high stress situation.

Oh, and Bill Murray is in the movie too. And Twinkies - sort of.

I really enjoyed Zombieland - it was a light movie despite the zombie element present. The writing was pretty good, the actors were decent in handling the comedic timing and overall the various story elements came together pretty well.

Zombieland gets 4 double taps out of a possible 5.


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