89 min., 2009
Written by Ruben Fleischer
Directed by Rhett Reese/Paul Wernick
My rating: ★★★★
Maybe a little too over the top for some.
* * *
The movie opens with Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) stating some rules about living in “Zombieland,” which is the US after the zombie apocalypse. He tells/shows us how it pretty much started, and how he got to where he is. He soon meets Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) who is the just a little bit crazy guy, who takes a lot of pleasure in killing zombies and is always on the lookout for a Twinkie. They get along okay, they then meet Wichita and Little Rock, two sisters. After much high jinks they all end up in an amusement park (Pacific Playland) where the movie comes to, sadly, a very predictable ending.
The acting is good, all the characters are played well and they all slide into their roles nicely. You really can’t find a better crazy man than Woody. I like his crazy more than most because he has the best faces to go with the dialogue and situations.
Camera work and effects is what makes this movie really shine. Most of the camera usage and angles are really cool, and when you toss in the great use of color, it really makes for a beautiful movie. Kills are done in a real over the top manner and they really try to make them almost artful in a bizarre way.
There is one scene that really bothered me to the point of annoyance. When Tallahassee and Columbus go to the grocery store, and open the trunk, showing off all the “everyday” weapons. Tallahassee gets all suited up and enters the store. What transpires next is a bunch of cool kills, but that’s not what bothers me. The way he kills a zombie and then tosses the weapon away is what really drives me crazy. It just shows me that the only reason for this scene is to just show off camera work and effects and it makes me want to yell at the screen.
Spoiler Alert for morons only! One other thing that bothers me is the introduction of Wichita and Little Rock. We are supposed to believe that Little Rock has been bitten and feel bad for her, but on the poster art and even in all of the trailers you see her running around and perfectly fine. They should never put a character that is introduced early and is trying to trick the main characters, in/on anything, because it really ruins the “surprise” of the fake out. You hear that she was bitten and think, “No she hasn’t, she’s one of the main characters, she can’t be bitten already, it’s a ruse.”
This movie is all about over the top, from the intro to the very last scenes. Crazy effects and outlandish ways to kill zombies run wild, but it does sometimes become just too outlandish even for me. Not saying that the movie is terrible, but if you are looking for any bit of reality, you are looking at the wrong movie. Fun, absurd, and even sometimes just stupid, it is definitely an all-around good movie for most fans. The fans that are not into self-aware movies, please keep your distance, this is not for you. Everyone else should grab a bag of popcorn and a big cup of Code Red Mountain Dew and do yourself a favor and check it out at least once.Have You Read...?