Running Time: 1 hr. 22 min.
Release Date: October 2nd, 2009 (wide)
MPAA Rating: R for zombie horror violence/gore and language.
Distributors: Sony Pictures Releasing
Directed by: Ruben Fleischer
JJ Rating: A-
There is a virus that attacks the world at large. It seems that there a few people that are unaffected and they call each other by the city they hail from. Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) and Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) travel together until they meet Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin). Then there’s a whole bunch of gory zombie killing. Zombieland.
The beginning credits are normally just bland, but the beginning of Zombieland has zombies running and attacking any number of different kinds of people. The text of the credits get knocked around by the zombies. It’s a clever beginning to a very cleverly made film. It starts off on a good and fleshly foot and keeps that pace the entire film. There really isn’t a dull moment in Zombieland. It is one of the better films I’ve seen about zombies. As a matter of fact it’s on of the better movies of the entire year…well thus far, but considering how this year is going I’m pretty sure it’ll be on my list by year end.
I find zombies both gross and fascinating. I like them more than I like vampires. I like them more than I like werewolves. I think they are one of the better horror inventions. Far better, of course, than Jason and Freddy and any other film that creates a killer that walks slow but still catches up with you. Zombies are a true visual of mob mentality. So instead of calling someone a lemming (falsely, by the way; Wikipedia it) or a sheep when they share a common destructive thought, just call them a zombie. It’s made exactly for that purpose, or so it seems.
Harrelson teaming up with some youngin’s like Eisenberg, Breslin and Stone was casting genius. They could not have come up with a better cast no matter how much money their budget had. This is casting perfection like Doubt was last year. I believe the script has to be good first in order for other things to fall into place but sometimes with a cast like this the actors can totally outshine the script, which is kind of hard to do considering the script is witty.
Harrelson plays well with younger actors and it seems to give him some sort of vitality and energy. He’s great with sarcasm and passion for things like killing zombies or his, in one of the better sections of the film, favorite actor. Eisenberg does have a Michael Cera-esque thing going on but with more gestures and body movement. Opposites do attract not only in relationships of the romantic kind but in the zombie slaughtering kind. He and Harrelson play well off of one another. Eisenberg has that doubtful I’m good enough to do this kind of thing. His confidence is shot in many of his characters he plays, but still he has an ability to make them magnetic. Breslin plays a brazen character. She doesn’t disappoint with her role choices, each character is unique and she doesn’t tend to play the same role twice. That can also be stated for Stone. She’s been in several films and she has played different characters so much so that some of the characters she’s played would detest others she has played. It’s rather amusing. She plays a powerful, determined female character without much slack.
Columbus has a set of rules he has survived by and they come with amusing scenes that show why the rule was created. The way they did the text on the screen for this part as well as other parts in the film was awesome. I really love when a film plays with text like that. Instead of having it boringly sit there and be read it becomes part of the scene itself even though the characters do not notice it.
Zombieland has so many great scenes. There is a montage when they are driving in the car that is pretty funny. The script has them take the situations they are in and make light of it. It’s like if “Seinfeld” had to deal with zombies this is how it would be done. They had no real direct purpose outside of being together and beating up zombies. With only four main characters and almost only characters it could become difficult to keep the attention of the viewer without boring them. But it does that without breaking a single sweat or boring moment. It totally trumps many films in the same genre, if not most that came out this year. With the many great scenes as well as great cast and great visuals with the zombies, Zombieland just could not fail. It is a fleshly good time.