There are only a handful of movies every year that seem to really captivate audiences in a way that actually makes them applaud while watching it. This year we had Taken, District 9, and now Zombieland. This is a film that seems to be made specifically for the audience, as everything you expected to in the trailers came true and then some. This is my review of Zombieland.
The film is set in a time that is similar to now, only the world has been become run over by zombies. There are very few people left, and we are introduced to “Columbus” (Jesse Eisenberg), an unlikely survivor of this apocalypse currently in Texas. He’s a shut-in who is full of phobias, but that has helped him stay alive, thanks to his 32 rules that he follows closely. We are introduced to the first few right away in hilarious fashion, and the rules pop up throughout the film as a major theme.
On his way back to Ohio, our protagonist meets “Tallahassee” (played to perfection by Woody Harrelson), an zombie-slaying bad ass whose single determination is to get the last Twinkie on earth. The two get duped by, then tag along with two sisters (Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin) who have a history of surviving by themselves through inventive means. Their goal is to get to a theme park in California where there are supposedly no zombies.
The film covers the group’s journey out west, with the rules of Zombieland popping up here and there for both comedic effect and as part of the plot. Many times, we actually see the rules displayed on screen in text, which just goes towards Zombieland’s perfect balance of cheesiness and fun. The film is full of action, disgusting zombies, and lots of humor. One of my favorite sequences is when the group meets a celebrity (I won’t spoil it for you) who is actually played by the real celebrity.
The themes of the film are loneliness (par for the course for a zombie flick) and trust. All the main characters have trust issues, and the way they come together in the climax at the theme park, is actually quite impressive. There are a lot of little things that tie together through out the film, and I was surprised at how smart the script is.
Zombieland delivers in every way you can imagine. There are dozens of great zombie re-deaths, and the film uses almost every tool imaginable to make killing zombies original. It’s rare to see a film that blends awesome action, great comedy, a good script, and great characters so well together. The fact my audience applauded afterward (not to mention throughout the film) should be enough for you to know that you will not be disappointed. This is not only one of my favorite films of the year, its one of my favorite films of all time.
Final Grade: A
Zombieland opens nationwide today. Let us know what you think of the film in the comments below!