Sunday, 18 April 2010

Zombieland - Review


Basically 28 Days Later with huge slice of wry humour.  Needless to say I loved it.

Set two months after a Zombie apocalypse, Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) is the geeky student trying to get home to his family with only a shotgun and a set of rules to get him there.  After losing his car, after a little scrape with some Zombies, he meets up with Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) and they start travelling together.

From the opening credits on it's abundantly clear that this is not going to be your average Zombie flick.  This movie takes great delight in the demise of it's Zombies and the fun that can be had from the humans shooting them in the face, running them down, dropping piano's on their heads etc etc.

The introduction of the rather delectable Emma Stone, playing Wichita, doesn't do the the film any harm and although initially her and her younger sister (Abigail Breslin) have a fractious relationship with Columbus and Tallahassee they are soon travelling together across America, heading East.

Harrelson is worth buying this for alone, he's made for parts like this.  No one really does a better job of making a meat head so likeable.  The character has no doubt in himself and just wants a Twinkie.  Simple, but after seeing his poor performance in 2012 it's good see him in a role that suits his range better.

The Zombies aren't really there to scare you.  They're just part of the entertainment and although there's a fair bit of gore, it's the funny kind.  A broken ankle with a bit of bone sticking out on a person?  Gross.  On a Zombie?  Hilarious.

All of the characters are looking for something, essentially a family, but the film sensibly doesn't labour the point, focusing on the sparky dialogue and the visceral thrill of killing zombie's.

It is laugh out loud funny in places, has a great soundtrack and a great cameo from Bill Murray.  The survival rules popping up on screen throughout as Colorado uses them are ace too.  It's a tight Zombie comedy, maybe not quite Shaun of the Dead, but great fun throughout, as long as you don't mind the odd deliciously visceral zombie pulping along the way.

The only thing that's missing is some genuine tension.  The ending feels slightly inevitable, you never really worry about any of the leads, but the set piece at amusement park, which is the films climax, does include some quite wonderfully inventive Zombie slaying.

Buy, rent or whatever.  Great fun.