Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Movie Review: Zombieland

Directed by Ruben Fleischer
Running Time: 88 minutes
Originally Released: October 2, 2009

*** ½ (out of four)

Sometimes the only thing more dangerous than a zombie with a craving for brains is Woody Harrelson with a craving for Hostess Twinkies. If the two were to get into a fight, who would win? Zombieland seeks to answer this question and few others of little to no import. It is a movie as decadent and indulgent as a Twinkie itself. Nobody’s claiming it’ll do you any good—but that doesn’t mean it won’t give you the cinematic equivalent of a sugar rush.

Harrelson is just one of the four central figures—sans zombies—at the heart of Zombieland. Joining him is Jessie Eisenberg as the film’s narrator, an intelligent but borderline geek who strictly adheres to the dozens of rules for survival he’s compiled since zombies have all but destroyed the human race. Heading to Columbus, Ohio to check on his parents, Eisenberg’s character (known only as Columbus, because of his chosen destination) runs into Harrelson’s character (dubbed Tallahassee), and the two subsequently run into a pair of con-women, Wichita (played by Emma Stone) and her 12-year-old sister Little Rock (Abigail Breslin). The foursome then travel across the country, fighting off the living dead as they go along.

Zombieland is a love it or hate it movie. If it appeals to you at all, you are bound to think it’s absolutely great. It’s a hyper-stylized, unabashedly gratuitous action/horror flick with a constant dose of dark humor strewn throughout, not to mention cadavers, blood, and guts. The humor is what you’d expect from a film like this, but it works. Case in point, when Columbus has his first run-in with a zombie, he finds himself trapped in a bathroom and fighting off the zombie by bashing it in the head with the only things within reach—a bag of cotton balls and a roll of toilet paper. Special mention should be made of an extended cameo from a comedy legend at the film’s midpoint. I won’t give it away, but I’m tempted to use the phrase “a real hoot” for perhaps the first time in my life. Yes, the film has its laugh-out-loud moments, plenty of smirk-worthy scenes, and enough action to keep you frivolously entertained. It’s nothing brilliant, but it is a mighty tasty cinematic snack cake.


  1. I really like your writing style. It sounds like fun for a Saturday night with popcorn and all the trimmings, and Twinkies of course. Wish you could be here....maybe we could do this in August??

  2. Hey! I saw this one. I remember thinking it was better than I expected and pretty funny! I can't wait for August... all those Twinkies!... I mean, to see you of course!