Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Zombieland (2009)

Fat vs bat. My money on the bat.
Fat vs bat. My money on the bat.
Zombieland is quite simply a good film. What it lacks in boobs it makes up for in zombies, guns and sass. I expected a quiche and they served me prime MSA steak with chips and a tasty red wine jus. This movie has all the vital elements; humor, a pretty girl (Emma Stone with permanent bedroom eyes), Woody Harrelson, a geeky guy (Jesse Eisenberg), zombies, guns, aforementioned sass and some very cool slo-mo effects. The fourth member of the quartet is played by Abigail Breslin.

Eisenberg plays a neurotic recluse with no friends and little family contact. He spends his time eating pizza, playing WoW and avoiding human contact. After a pretty girl stumbles into his apartment and goes all zombie on him overnight, he's forced out of his apartment and into the mean streets of Zombieland, a world populated almost exclusively by zombies. As time goes by he establishes and expands a list of rules for survival in Zombieland and these rules appear on the screen as text each time a rule is followed. For example when Harrelson runs down some zombies then reverses over them before driving off, the rule 'Double Tap' appears over the dead zombies. Simple, but never grows old.

Harrelson and Eisenberg eventually meet two sisters, Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin, who con them out of their car and weapons. The two parties, following some more hijinks, eventually overcome their misgivings and team up. What begins as a marriage of convenience grows into friendship and mutual support. Stone's character learns to trust people, her younger sister learns to be a kid again, Harrelson opens up a little about why he's so angry and distant, and Eisenberg finds a family. What makes this movie work so well are those developing characterisations which are admirably supported by the actors, all of whom turn in a believeable performance.

There's a bit toward the end where I thought 'oh no', because the movie seemed to have run out of ideas and steam before it ran out of story. I'm happy to say I was wrong and the ending shows off a very cool shoot out by Harrelson, a zombie duck-shoot from the top of a carnival ride and a lot of cardio work by Eisenberg (rule #1). I felt satisfied by credits time yet hungry for more zombieland...which is all I needed to say really.

9.5/10 - Zombieland went in my eye from frame one and never relented. Three thumbs up...oh God, that's not a thumb!

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