"Zombieland" lulls you in a witty manner

Oct. 5, 2009, midnight | By Amir Gorjifard | 11 years, 4 months ago

Ruben Fleischer's directorial debut is a hilarious take on a gruesome subject

In an era where all that seems to thrive in cinematic features are teenage-vampire heartthrobs, alien-robotic cars, and spandex-wearing superheroes, a new genre that makes audience squeal and laugh must surface. The only fresh genre that can successfully do this is the zombie-comedy genre, originally sparked by the "Dawn of the Dead" parody and "Shaun of the Dead" but has since been left undone. "Zombieland" has staked territory and turned the spark from those frontrunner films into a raging fire.

The film starts in a post-apocalyptic, zombie-infested America, where Columbus (Jessie Eisenberg), a college student on his way to search for his family in Columbus, Ohio, encounters Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), a Twinkie obsessed and zombie-killing machine. In order to prevent emotional attachment they both agree to address each other by the names of their current destinations. They soon decide to stay together for each other's protection and search a local grocery store for sustenance, preferably Twinkies. There they encounter two women named Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin). After a brief altercation, the four decide that it would be best for their safety if they stick together and travel to a zombie-free amusement park, regardless of the deadly affairs that lie ahead.

The lightheartedness of the entire movie keeps the possible depression invoked by the setting to a bare minimum. A common and rather annoying occurrence in most zombie-centered films is the zombies' speed of one mile per hour. What makes the zombies slow movement even more exasperating is the uncanny and unexplained talent for catching their fast human prey. "Zombieland" ignores this theme and the result is fast and intensely ravenous zombies. The disappearance of slow moving zombies in this movie creates more relief than actual nostalgia.

The acting in the movie only amplifies the hilarious screenplay. Woody Harrelson's interpretation of the improvising and foul-mouthed southerner, Tallahassee, is convincing and far from one-dimensional. Jesse Eisenberg has the amazing ability to stick to his old shtick of a neurotic and motor-mouthed teenager yet not bore audiences with repetition.

The only tiny problem with the movie is its shockingly short runtime of 80 minutes. The movie's exceptionality makes the viewer edging in their seats for more hypnotic characters and rapid plot movement. However, judging by its cool factor and dynamic droll, a sequel is sure to resurge our desire for "Zombieland."

"Zombieland" (80 minutes) is rated R or horror violence/gore and language. Now playing everywhere.

Tags: Review

Amir Gorjifard. Son of Mahmoud Gorjifard and Nahid Gorjifard, Amir can be best described by two words: gorgeous and modest. His two loves in this world are his two guitars - his acoustic guitar, E. Roosevelt (he was forced to add the E. due to an overrated … More »

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