Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Movie Review: Zombieland

Movie Review: Zombieland

Woody Harrelson’s character in Zombieland, a man that goes by Tallahassee, is pretty simple minded. He likes to enjoy the little things in life, whether it’s driving a Cadillac, eating a Twinkie, or railing on a ravenous zombie with a banjo. Much like Tallahassee, Zombieland doesn’t have a whole lot of substance. However, again drawing a comparison with Harrelson’s character, that shouldn’t suggest that Zombieland isn’t a great deal of fun and a thoroughly entertaining movie. It is, simply said.

All that considered, Tallahassee is not the film’s main protagonist. It’s a young boy named Columbus, (played by Jesse Eisenberg, doing his best Michael Cera impression) who has learned to survive on his own by being extremely paranoid and self-dependent. A classic movie nerd, Columbus has had limited and awkward experiences with girls and does not show a great deal of self-confidence. Enter the supremely confident Tallahassee. You can probably guess how their relationship develops. Then two badass sisters, Wichita and Little Rock, (played respectively by super hot Emma Stone and super young Abigail Breslin) show up and serve to further develop Eisenberg’s character.

The plot isn’t terribly unique. Based on those previous character descriptions, you can figure out how things develop. Rather, the plot fills in gaps between the movie’s main draw: killing zombies. Yes, as you can probably guess, Zombieland is a fanboy’s fantasia—a symphony of blood, guts, and violence, all executed with a comedic tone. Hedge clippers, sledgehammers, and even pianos play a part in defeating zombies. The overly theatrical violence evokes feelings of Tarantino in some brief instances. Now, comparing Zombieland to a Tarantino is probably blasphemous, but the treatment of violence is definitely comparable. For a movie that could be rife with suspenseful scenes, Zombieland tends to avoid those moments and is more content as a grotesque comedy. To that end, the movie succeeds remarkably. The laughs come frequently and the violence is disgustingly hilarious. The movie certainly delivers on its promise.

So, if you’re looking for two hours of fun, zombie killing, and an unexpected (yet brilliant) celebrity cameo, Zombieland is the film for you. If you’re hoping for something else (I don’t know why you would be), then go next door and watch The Invention of Lying. From this reviewer’s perspective, Zombieland is a riot even if it doesn’t have much of a message. But to be fair, I didn’t really think I’d be getting one. It’s that simple.

Rating: 4/5 stars

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