12/21/09

Zombieland (2009)

Woody Harrelson (Tallahassee), Jesse Eisenberg (Columbus), Emma Stone (Wichita), Abigail Breslin (Little Rock)

Directed by Ruben Fleischer

Summary: The horror comedy Zombieland focuses on two men who have found a way to survive a world overrun by zombies. Columbus is a big wuss -- but when you're afraid of being eaten by zombies, fear can keep you alive. Tallahassee is an AK-toting, zombie-slaying' bad ass whose single determination is to get the last Twinkie on earth. As they join forces with Wichita and Little Rock, who have also found unique ways to survive the zombie mayhem, they will have to determine which is worse: relying on each other or succumbing to the zombies.

Casey obtained a copy of this, although I don't know how. We watched it over Thanksgiving break. I think the right word for the overall experience is derivative. For example, Jesse Eisenberg was definitely going for a Michael Cera vibe, but truly, there's barely room enough in Hollywood for Cera's odd blend of comedy, personality and complete spinelessness.

Eisenberg's character, however, was the most endearing part of this film. I liked that heroic types would be ill-served in a zombie-filled world, and that cowards who didn't like people would fare better. But once we got past his amusing list of rules, and even past Woody Harrelson's obsession with Twinkies, the plot required Eisenberg to be a bumbling romantic lead. No good. The middle third really drags, and Harrelson's knock-off version of a kooky Mickey Knox wasn't enough to leaven it.

Another cute twist was the reason for their zombie road movie adventure. In 28 Days Later, they were driving to reach a military outpost in Manchester. (Ooh, I mentioned 28 Days Later and Cillian Murphy showed up!) In Zombieland, however, the characters travel thousands of miles...to an amusement park. Just for kicks, I guess. The whole thing got very, very silly, and I kinda wanted them to get eaten. Overall, Zombieland was perfectly harmless popcorn entertainment with a few good gags, but I'm glad I didn't pay for it.

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