Movie Review: Zombieland
Welcome to Zombieland where the motto is "Nut up, or Shut up." In an Earth whose streets are overrun by the blood-covered brain-eating undead, it's either kill or be zombified. The film, directed by newcomer, Ruben Fleischer, takes horror gore to a new cringe-worthy and sidesplitting level. After a hilarious, slow-motion opening filled with fearful humans fleeing for their lives from the slavering undead, we meet Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg). A loner with only a stolen car, a piece of rolling luggage, and a shotgun to his name, Columbus survives through his unique 32 rules about how to survive a zombie apocalypse. These rules have kept him alive so far as he attempts to head east toward, well, Columbus-there are no real names in Zombieland, where keeping emotional attachments to a minimum is key.
Driving along a highway spotted with abandoned cars Columbus comes across the most badass of all survivors, driving a shiny black Cadillac. Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) is the ultimate zombie hunter, outfitted with a leather jacket, dark shades and myriad weapons, from sawed-off shotguns to dull hedge clippers to a banjo, he is always prepared for the best Zombie Kill-of-the-Week. The violence is both gruesome and laugh-out-loud hilarious as the unlikely duo find more creative ways to lure out their brain-dead predators.
Teaming up with Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin), a pair of untrusting sisters on their way to California, Columbus and Tallahassee find themselves wondering if being zombie prey would be easier than roadtripping with the two conniving young women. But after heated debate and some clever maneuvers from the sisters, Columbus's Rule #29, "The Buddy System" takes the cake and the guys are in for the ride of their lives.
While Tallahassee's only goals left in life are to kill as many zombies as possible and find the last surviving Twinkie on Earth, Wichita and Little Rock have other plans. They're headed to the one place they've heard is sans zombies: Pacific Playland. Eisenberg returns to his Adventureland roots of last spring, minus the bad corndogs and adding in a horde of slavering night crawlers, when the ragtag group has their ultimate showdown at an eerily deserted amusement park. Eisenberg and Harrelson make an unlikely pair, but their respective awkward loner wuss and no-holds-barred fighter characters do nothing but add to the hilarity that ensues onscreen.
For fans of apocalypse films and black comedies alike, Zombieland is the perfect mix of over-the-top gore, underdog adventure, and uproarious action. The mix of Harrelson's gruff no-nonsense attitude with the often dry sarcasm of the cheeky young up-and-comer cast, the movie's dark wit keeps the audience chuckling at even the goriest of zombie kills.
Keep your eyes peeled for a priceless cameo from one of comedy's (and Tallahassee's) most revered veterans as you laugh, cringe and hold on tight for the wild ride that is Zombieland.