Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Zombieland Review

I normally do not care for monster/zombie movies.  I think it has something to do with the fact that I often like to eat while watching a film.  And now it seems that most of these movies are trying to outdo each other in their gross out factors.  But I really like Zombieland.  Yes, it is very gross in its zombie effects and it is incredibly violent.  But it is also very funny and very cleverly done.

The writing and acting in Zombieland makes it stick out from other movies in the same genre.  Like Shaun of the Dead, it is not a horror movie.  It is a comedy that is set in a horror story.  A few things set it apart from Shaun though.  Shaun is more of a parody of zombie movies.  Zombieland doesn't parody other movies or pop culture.  it just uses humour to tell a post-apocalyptic style of story.  Using narration, deadpan line deliveries and excellent timing of jokes, Zombieland entertains right from the outset.  Both Jesse Eisenberg and Woody Harrelson are perfectly cast.  After all, Eisenberg always comes off as a prototypical nerdy loser (eg. The Social Network and 30 Minutes or Less) and I'm not even 100% sure Harrelson knew he was being filmed for this movie (kidding).  The dynamic between the two works very well.  While Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin weren't terrific, they played their roles solidly and did a good job in supporting the comic deliveries of Harrelson and Eisenberg.

Really, the only part of this movie that I would have done differently is the Pacific Playland scene at the end.  It really seemed to go on for a bit too long.  In fact, the movie really grinds to a halt comedically at the Bill Murray scene.  (I apologize if I spoiled that for you but I figure it's been almost two years.)  While still staying as a comedy, it tries to bring in a deeper, more heartfelt story that really doesn't fit.  By this time, it's too late.  Had that element been brought in closer to the beginning, it could have worked.  (Also, a chainsaw is never used in the film.  So it should not be featured in the poster.  Those things just kind of bug me.)

That isn't enough for you to avoid this movie though.  See it.  It is very funny and entertaining.  The effects are good if you like gross zombies.  And the comic timing is terrific.

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