Director: Ruben Fleischer
Cast: Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, Abigail Breslin
There have been many zombie movies produced over the years, like George A Romero's Dead series, the Resident Evil series and 28 Days Later, although in 28 Days Later, they weren't really zombies, but rage filled psychos with a lot more speed than the average zombie.
Zombieland prefers to take the road less travelled: the funny road. It's inspired by the other zombie comedy, Shaun Of The Dead, which this reviewer has yet to see. The premise in Zombieland is pretty standard: the world has been overrun by zombies and the few survivors left have to band together to stay alive.
The main leads are all identified by an American city name, and our main protagonist is Columbus, a young man who has managed to survive the zombie predicament despite being a coward for the most part. He narrates the film and informs the audience of the basic rules to stay alive in Zombieland, and even manages to demonstrate the rules while it is spelt out on screen. Totally hilarious.
Anyway, he meets Tallahassee, a trigger happy man who's obsessed with finding every last Twinkie there is. Together they travel the road and run into a pair of sisters, Wichita and Little Rock, who subsequently con them out of their weapons and vehicle. Somewhere down the line the four meet up again and decide to join forces and head to LA. Wichita plans to take her sister there, to an amusement park that is rumored to be zombie free.
Director Ruben Fleischer and writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick successfully create a film that is capable of entertaining despite having a really simple plot running through it. Sure, zombie films are never meant to be brain food (no pun intended), and every zombie flick looks a lot like the last one, but Zombieland keeps things fresh by piling on the laughs while mixing the action and horror up equally.
The cast work extremely well together. Woody Harrelson is very likeable even though he is pretty much playing himself here i.e. a character he's used to becoming. As Tallahassee, he comes off as the anti-hero that the audience will have no problem rooting for. However, it's Jesse Eisenberg who steals the show as Columbus, the coward who eventually breaks his own rules to save a life. His continuing narration keeps the audience focused on the story and not be numbed by all the gore and repetition you'd expect from a zombie movie. Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin provide great support as the two sisters who act as the perfect foil to the two guys.
The only drawback from Zombieland comes in the last part of the film, when things start to get personal between Columbus and Wichita, and the final fight between the four and the zombies start to feel draggy. There's only so much fun you can have watching zombies getting gunned down again and again.
But overall, I had fun spending 90 minutes watching this. It's the most fun you can have while learning a thing or two about life and surviving the dead. (4/5)