I caught a sneak preview of Zombieland with a friend and was impressed to say the least.
Zombieland has to have one of the flashiest openings in memory. There is no subtle build up. You are dropped right into Zombieland as Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) begins listing the rules to survival. Of course each rule gives you a hysterical example of why the rule is in place. Anything that has been taboo for horror films at one time is met head on. I won’t list each as not to spoil the movie but Zombieland has a unique ability to make almost anything seem comical. This includes the fact that for some reason it seems that every zombie in Zombieland has a blood belching problem. Literally every zombie has blood spewing from their mouth. This is captured best in the intro as you almost feel like you are supposed to have the 3D glasses in place.
Columbus is funny enough with his phobias and geek lifestyle that proves to be what keeps him alive but it isn’t until he meets Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), that things really kick into gear. Harrelson seems to have been born for this role. He has more one liners than any character in recent memory. Each line is typically vulgar but even if offensive it is near impossible not to laugh. Let’s face it, if you are completely offended by language or blood then you aren’t likely to be sitting with a crowd watching Zombieland in the first place.
A little romance is thrown into the mix when Columbus and Tallahassee come up on Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin). For a zombie comedy I thought Eisenberg and Stone actually had decent chemistry. Not that much time is dedicated to romance but what is there comes across as sincere and lets us watch as Columbus transitions from geek to hero. Even without the romance the girls are an important part of the chemistry of Zombieland. They help to even out the brawn and the brains between the four characters.
Zombieland has a simple story. The guys are loners. Columbus with the simple mission to stay alive and Tallahassee with a never ending search for any and all of the remaining golden Twinkies left on the planet. The girls are sisters who are trying to get to an amusement park in CA where they believe, or at least want to believe it is zombie free. A small part of the film feels like the movie Vacation with zombies. The comical trip with a destination which you can just feel isn’t going to be what the characters hope for. Like Vacation it shows that the journey is far more important than the destination.
The biggest moment of the film has to be the mystery cameo. I’m glad I didn’t know who it was and I won’t spoil it for anyone else. I will say that it was brilliantly written into the script. PERFECT! It really goes to show how much they focused on getting Zombieland to be a top notch flick that should go down as a horror-comedy classic to remember. It will certainly fit alongside Shaun of the Dead in my movie collection.