Sunday, October 4, 2009

The United States of Zombieland

Comedy/horror movie Zombieland is really good. I saw it expecting something along the lines of Shaun of the Dead, but what I saw was much better. Be warned that it's more than a little gory, but the movie boasts a great cast, great writing, and pretty good special effects (it really does a nice job of using slow motion -- I know that sounds weird, but trust me). It also finds a way to actually develop the characters like most comedies struggle to do. Put all this together and you've got the ultimate zombie flick and comedy combo.

The story revolves around four main characters all trying to survive in a US that has been overrun with zombies. It stars Jessie Eisenberg, an actor who has had a fantastic year in this blogger's opinion with both Adventureland and Zombieland. Granted, he plays basically the same awkward-and-constantly-nervous-yet-somehow-still-cool character (think the character that Michael Cera always plays) in both movies, but they were exactly what the role called for, and neither would have been great movies without his performance. Eisenberg's "Columbus" (the characters all just call themselves by the towns they were born in) narrates the story, and his narration really adds to the film's humor. He starts the movie off on a high note by filling in audience members on some of the rules of his "Survival Guide to Zombieland." And these constantly come up throughout the movie. Trust me when I say you'll laugh more than once when a rule pops up.

Columbus teams up with zombie-slaying, twinkie-obsessed badass "Tallahassee," played by Woody Harrelson. I've never been a huge Harrelson fan (aside from his role as Roy Munson in Kingpin), but he's probably the funniest guy in the movie. The two eventually team up with two girls, "Wichita" and "Little Rock." Wichita, played by Emma Stone (Superbad, The Rocker), plays Columbus's love interest, and it's pretty funny when he finally gets the girl. And increasingly popular Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine, Definitely, Maybe, My Sister's Keeper) plays Little Rock.

Audience members are given a real treat when Bill Murray (reuniting with Harrelson after his turn as "Big Ern McCracken" in Kingpin) cameos as himself. It's not quite on the level of Matt Damon in Eurotrip or Val Kilmer in Entourage, but it's pretty damn good.

Bottom line: If you go to this movies this week, go see Zombieland; just good old fashioned family fun (for families where everyone is 17+). (B+)

Here's the preview:

Sidenote: I saw the preview for Saw VI before movie. Can we please stop making these?

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