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Zombieland (2009) - Film Review

Man, had I been looking forward to Zombieland?! It’s had rave reviews, fantastic trailers, and of course, it’s a Zombie film, and as regular readers will know, I love Zombie films. The only problem when a film is so well-hyped is that it is difficult for it to live up to that hype. It was almost impossible for Zombieland to live up to my ridiculously high expectations, but all things considered, the film is great fun even though it isn’t the perfection I’d craved.

The story centres around four main characters, Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) a Zombie hating, twinkie loving maniac, Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), a phobic, awkward, lonely, computer geek, Witchita (Emma Stone), a determined, rebellious tough girl, and her younger sister Little Rock (Abagail Breslin) a mature, streetwise kid who just wants to go to Pacific Playground and enjoy a little of what’s left of her childhood.

The film opens with great slow-mo direction and a cracking Metallica track. Columbus tells us he is one of only a few survivors of a Zombie creating virus in the U.S. and the reason he’s survived when others have failed is that he sticks firmly to his list of rules. The rules include; having good cardio, wearing your seatbelt, not being a hero, and always shooting Zombies twice just to make sure (the double-tap rule). Adhering to these rules has kept Columbus alive, but it is now that the loner, who has always shied away from the company of others is surprised to learn that he is tired of being alone.

By chance he runs into Tallahassee, a man who has never been good at anything – until now. He is great at Zombie killing, a real natural. Tallahassee offers Columbus a lift, and Columbus accepts. These two characters form a reluctant and unlikely friendship, whilst defending themselves from the attacking Zombies. There are a couple of great jump-scares in the opening few minutes, and the Zombies come thick and fast - I was anticipating a serious Zombie massacre. Tallahassee, with his arsenal of weapons, and Zombies coming from all directions, only a few minutes in and I knew this film had real potential.

Before long we are introduced to Witchita and Little Rock, I won’t say any more about this meeting because I’m not into spoiling the plot, but the four characters complement each other very well, and coupled with a great screenplay and some fine acting (which is rare in a film of this nature) Zombieland has a lot to offer.

Unfortunately though, it is clear that this film was made to appeal to a wider audience than most Zombie films, as the horror that was present in the beginning seems to all but disappear without a trace. Considering the whole of the U.S. has been taken over by Zombies, there’s a distinct lack of them for a good long chunk in the middle of this film. Luckily an amusing script and a great cameo (which I won’t spoil) help to keep the viewer satisfied, but hard core horror fans are going to find the middle 40 minutes or so of Zombieland a little tame.

The last twenty minutes is brilliant, and exactly what I’d hoped to see all the way through, plenty of Zombies, action, suspense, and Woody Harrelson running around with a great big shit-eating grin on his face gunning down the Zombies. It’s good stuff and I’d have liked more of this - Zombieland is a great film, and my only real complaint is that for a film called Zombieland, there is an awful lot of land without any Zombies!!

ZOMBIELAND (2009). Director: Ruben Fleischer, Writer: Rhett Reese & Paul Wernick. Cast: Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Abigail Breslin, Emma Stone.

1 comment:

  1. By the last twenty minutes I was too frustrated at the lack of zombies to care whether they survived or not. xD Great review.