The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
The Video Vacuum
thevideovacuum

ZOMBIELAND (2009) *** ½

There was a time not too long ago when the only people making zombie movies were George Romero and Lucio Fulci.  Now Hollywood churns them out a dime a dozen.  They have gone to the well so many times that zombies have been pretty much been done to death (pardon the pun).  The best way to really go about making a zombie movie now is to play it for laughs.  Zombieland is the latest in the zombie-comedy subgenre.  It’s got plenty of big chuckles, a smattering of gore, and at least one truly awesome surprise cameo.  As zom-coms go, I’d say it’s better than Fido but not as good as Shaun of the Dead.

 

The flick takes place shortly after the zombie apocalypse where a loser kid named Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg, the guy you hire when Michael Cera doesn’t return your calls) teams up with a cocky survivalist named Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) for a road trip across the zombie-infested USA.  Along the way they run into these two broads who scam them out of their car and guns multiple times but Columbus and Tallahassee are so dumb they keep falling for it.  When the two bitches wind up trapped on one of the rides in an amusement park surrounded by hungry zombies, Columbus and Tallassee come to their rescue and kill an assload of zombies.

 

Zombieland is a lot of fun mostly because the performers seem to be having a blast.  Harrelson hasn’t been this good since Natural Born Killers and is even able to lend some dimension to his otherwise cartoonish character.  Eisenberg also fares well as the nerdy sidekick.  After Adventureland, this is his second film in a row dealing with an amusement park with the word “land” in it.  Thank God this movie is a lot better than that piece of shit.  Then there is the surprise celebrity cameo.  I just can’t bring myself to spoil it for you.  Just be prepared to laugh.

 

The flick isn’t perfect though.  The two skanks that perpetually pull the wool over our heroes’ eyes got on my damn nerves PDQ.  I wish they had become Zombie Chow the first time they showed up.  I was also disappointed that the filmmakers didn’t take full advantage of the amusement park setting.  Tallahassee rides a rollercoaster and shoots zombies, Columbus gets chased by the flesh eaters through the Haunted House, and there’s a funny scene involving the Strongman’s hammer.  Other than that, not much is done with the place.  These are minor quibbles however and didn’t prevent me from thoroughly enjoying myself.

Harrelson gets the best line of the movie via his catchphrase, "Nut up or shut up!"

 

Zombieland has enough yuks for the bucks to place it on The Video Vacuum Top Ten Films of 2009 List at the Number 8 spot; sandwiching it right in between Watchmen and X-Men Origins:  Wolverine. 

Tags: comedy, z, zombie
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