In reviewing this year’s latest zombie flick, I find myself unable to find where to start, not because it was a bad flick, but simply because there were so many kick ass things about the movie. I am no connoisseur of zombie movies, but I have seen my fair share and can safely say that this is the best zombie movie I have ever seen. Zombieland is a careful collaboration of sarcasm, slapstick, artful direction, cool special effects, and even a minimal amount of sappiness. In short, something for everyone. Unless, of course, you’d rather your eyes not be assaulted by extreme gratuitous violence.
You’re welcomed to the story with narration by Jesse Eisenberg, a self-proclaimed reclusive nerd who’s coined a set of rules that will serve as your survival guide to Zombieland. Take note, movie goers, these rules may save your life in the event of a zombie apocalypse. As the movie goes on, the rules pop up in the scene, reminding the viewer of the relevance of “Double Tap” or “Wear a Seatbelt.”
After an awesomely appalling opening credit sequence, Woody Harrelson bursts into the scene in a blaze of redneck glory. He’s out for two things- killing zombies (in some pretty creative ways) and finding Twinkies. Later, the guys are joined by some young ladies (Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin), and as always, hijinks ensue. It quickly becomes a buddy movie/romantic comedy/coming of age flick. With zombies! Predictable, maybe, but definitely not boring. The dialogue is witty, brash, and funny, and constant clashes with the undead keep this movie flowing. Couple this with the greatest movie cameo I think I have ever seen, and you’ve got yourself a winner. Do yourself a favor- don’t look it up any spoiler alerts, you’ll ruin it for yourself and it won’t be as perfect and hilarious.
I never thought I’d say it, but sometimes, blood and gore can be spectacular to witness. Bodies flail across the screen in slow motion, violently chasing victims or smashing into blunt objects, blood artfully splattering the screen. I find it almost hard to believe that this flick is the first from Rueben Fleischer- the special effects, the slow motion sequences, the pop up survival rules, and the seriously balls-y lack of implied death cutaways on screen are amazing. I mean, typically in a film when someone careens to their death the camera pulls away at the last instant, favoring the reaction shot of those viewing the death instead of watching blood splatter the cement. In Zombieland you sit and you watch, thinking that at the last second the camera will cut away. Not the case. Instead, not only do you get to watch people explode from hitting the sidewalk, you get to do it in slow motion.
In the words of Tallahassee (Harrelson), “Nut up or shut up,” and go see Zombieland. Cringe, laugh, love it, and go see it again.