This has been the biggest movie in the country for at least a week now, so this is definately late, but here you go.
Zombieland takes the zombie genre in yet another humorous direction. The entire genre has been more than saturated and played out in the last decade or so, but for some reason it’s still alive and kicking. Wait, that doesn’t sound right.
Well, it’s still popular at least, which means that basically any old hack can take a stab at it and come out a head. Get it? A head? Awesome. I’m hilarious.
This movie starts off pretty much the same as any other undead flick. Zombies take over, people get eaten, world effectively ends. Throughout the movie, Jesse Eisenberg narrates it like he’s reading off his high school book report, blandly giving us his rules and repeating himself at no end. We last saw Eisenberg in another “land” movie, Adventureland, which leads me to wonder what’s next for our little Michael Cera with a fro.
Anyways, he’s the narrator, but he’s not really the star.
No no. That role belongs to Woody “nut up or shut up!” Harrelson, playing his most bad ass character to date. As the Twinkie obsessed, snakeskin wearing, mad eye staring, banjo plucking, zombie killing machine “Tallahassee”, Harrelson reminds us why he’s the man. Every time he’s on screen, he’s the focus, he’s the center, this movie could have been just Woody driving around blasting and slugging out the undead, and it would have ruled. Can’t wait for Zombieland 2: Tallahasse Boogaloo.
The film has some genuinely funny moments, a good couple of one liners, and probably the single greatest cameo of all time (I won’t tell you, but those dicks at IMDB will spoil the surprise if you want), but here’s the thing with the whole zombie comedy thing for me, a Zombie apocalypse is not really a very funny idea.
I mean think about it. The zombie apocalypse is such a hugely popular idea right now specifically because it is the single most terrifying thing our society can think of. As humans, our most intense fear is being eaten. From the times we were roaming plains with lions and tigers and bears (oh my) we’ve been trained first and foremost to NOT be devoured. It’s science. Add in the very idea of ANY apocalypse, and we’re pretty much bat shit scared. Look at all of the non zombie apocalypse movies right now, from The Road (can’t wait to see it) to 2012 ( specifically waiting until 2013 to see, so I can enjoy the sheer comic absurdity of it). We as humans want two things to never happen to us, and zombie apocalypse is basically both.
So the idea of an almost unkillable cause they’re already dead force, charging at us with inhuman strength, trying to rip us limb from limb for the direct purpose of consuming our flesh ain’t exactly the Three Stooges over here. And while we’re at it, since when did zombies run? Are we sooo attention deficit as a people that we won’t even wait for the zombies to walk towards us? They have to sprint like they’re going for the gold? When did that start? Probably 28 Days Later, although we all know that’s not a zombie flick. Right on zombie purists!
But seriously, there’s a real terror and dread when we’re trapped in a house and zombies are just sort of lumbering and walking ever steadily towards us, it draws out the tension, the terror. Plus, it gives the fatties a chance to get away too. Rule number one is Cardio after all.
Well, at least Zombieland doesn’t wind up taking itself too serious, like Shaun of the Dead did in the baffling last act of upmost horror. Zombieland keeps it simple, keeps it fun. A hell of a good time, and definately the zombie flick of the year, at least until George A. Romero’s Survival of the Dead. You can not stop the Romero, you can only run for your very lives.