Zombies may be the living dead, but they are really just like you and me. We all love to wake up to a nice big meal, but while we love pancakes, they enjoy brains. Sometimes we like to go for a run in the park for exercise, but instead of for exercise, zombies usually run just for brains. Nearly everyone enjoys spending time with loved ones, and the same holds true for zombies, except they love it because it means more brains. Whether you’re living or dead, there’s one thing we should all agree on: “Zombieland” is awesome.
The world has been taken over by zombies, and a college student nicknamed Columbus (Eisenberg), follows his own set of rules in order to survive the outbreak. On his way back to his hometown of Columbus, Ohio he befriends a redneck zombie killing fanatic named Tallahassee (Harrelson). The two travel together in search of twinkies and family until they encounter two sisters named Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) and Wichita (Emma Stone) who survive by swindling others. After a one-sided game of cat and mouse, the two pairs decide to join forces,and journey to Los Angeles in order to spend a day at an amusement park. As the foursome grows tighter, Columbus falls in love with Wichita, but her own set of rules forbids their love. Once in L.A., all four must avoid becoming zombies and start having fun to preserve their sanity.
Eisenberg (“Adventureland”) does a commendable job playing Columbus, a cowardly virgin with irritable bowel syndrome. Eisenberg could have pulled off the performance of a lifetime, and it still would be overshadowed by Harrelson. His performance is amazing as Tallahassee; the role fits perfectly with Harrelson’s trashy and witty style. Breslin and Stone do a good job adding a little variety and a sappy love story to the plot. The dialogue is very silly but remains clever at the same time, and really shows off all the actors’ talents. This movie also contains a marvelous cameo by Bill Murray, which will make any of his fans clap with joy.
Director Ruben Fleischer makes a very strong big screen debut with “Zombieland.” The cinematography is above average for a comedy and it really adds depth to the situation at hand. The film’s special effects team did a great job of not overdoing the gore scenes, but made each kill scene just as fun as the last one. The team also made a great decision posting Columbus’ rules on the screen, because it aided in the film’s purpose of being more comedy than horror. This film is not without some flaws, though, as there are hardly any survivors and, yet, there’s electricity. This small things never bring down this film. The action sequences are hysterical, but the best part of this movie is easily the slow motion opening credits with a montage of zombie violence, while Metallica’s “For Whom the Bell Tolls” plays.
The score by David Sardy is strong and could have easily been used in an actual horror movie. His eerie sound is very reminiscent of one of George Romero’s classic zombie films, but the comedic scenes are filled with catchy music that does not overtake the humor. The film’s rocking licensed soundtrack is awesome, and every song makes this film’s frantic style more enjoyable. The sound effects are top-notch and every head hit by a baseball bat sounds fantastic.
“Zombieland” is short and sweet. Although it may be a little too graphic for some viewers, the violence never reaches a ridiculous level. If you enjoy slapstick humor that requires a strong stomach, then “Zombieland” will take a large bite out of your funny bone.