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Movie Review: Zombieland

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What would it take for you to get out of your house once and a while and enjoy the little things life has to offer? A mega worldwide apocalyptic plague that turns everyone into flesh-eating zombies perhaps? I guess that’s one way.

Known only by location, Columbus (yes as in Ohio) played by Jesse Eisenberg, has been able to survive the zombie apocalypse by following a simple list of rules like, “Always wear a seat belt,” and for heaven’s sake, “Beware of bathrooms.” Zombies are sneaky. Columbus, before “the infection” started, was a nerdy shut-in who spent his weeks chomping down pizza, guzzling Code Red Mountain Dew, and playing World of Warcraft. Once everyone started turning into flesh-eating zombies he decided maybe it was time to get out of the house and find out if his parents were still alive.

On the way he meets Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson). Tallahassee has a deep-seated hatred for the zombie kind and delights in shattering their skulls with any manner of blunt instrument. They soon create an unlikely bond, seeing that they are seemingly the two people left on earth that aren’t chewing on the entrails of others.

Zombieland, is a spoof on the zombie genre. Now I know what you’re thinking, “Well, didn’t Shaun of the Dead already travel down that road?” The answer is yes they did, but somehow Zombieland adds its own charm to the zombie-spoof genre. While Shaun of the Dead made more fun of the zombies themselves, and how really they are quite stupid and terribly inept monstrous villains, Zombieland instead decides to poke fun at what it would be like to be in such a frightening situation. The zombies here are actually pretty scary, unlike the ones in Shaun of the Dead who were created as laughable parodies. Here it’s all about how people can find ways to still make life fun even when your in constant threat of having your brains eaten out.

Tallahassee and Columbus soon cross paths with a couple of con women, Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin). The four of them form a sort of dysfunctional family, and even though each one of them says they would be better off trying to survive alone, they stick together. Conversation is just better between real people than grunting zombies.

Zombieland, is fun, pure and simple. It’s hilarious and original. It could have easily been a retread of Shaun of the Dead, but it takes its own stance on spoofing zombie movies. Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick’s script is clever and pithy. The result is 80 minutes of genuine laughter. Whoever thought up the surprise cameo is a genius. Other reviews may spoil it, but you won’t find any of that here.

Tallahassee takes joy in killing zombies. It’s his one true love besides Twinkies. Foregoing guns, for the most part, Tallahassee takes a more hands on approach with baseball bats and pruning shears. “You gotta enjoy the small things in life,” he says. He’s right. Zombieland, deep within its hilariously gory glory, hides a moral. Get out of your house once and a while; enjoy life, because you never know when someone will start an apocalyptic meltdown by eating an infected hamburger.

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  • The surprise cameo was amazing, and kudos for not spoiling it.

    I’m a huge fan of zombie films in general, as well as Shaun of the Dead, but this movie definitely brings something new to the table, as you said. It has a sort of “coming of age during the apocalypse” vibe.

    Mainly, it was funny. I laughed and laughed and laughed. I’m pretty sure I missed a couple of lines because of the laughter of the crowd with which I saw the movie. Seriously funny stuff.

  • Excellent Review. Congrats on The Editors Pick!