This is a film that commands respect, adoration and contains some serious violence. Although the title and brief blurb appear to be all action it is at its base, incredibly comedic. This is one of those movies like Deadpool that could be categorized into several genres as its variance is impressive.
The cast? Solid. The two main protagonists are Woody Harrelson and Jessie Eisenberg, and the two female leads are Emma Stone & Abigail Breslin (or as she’s realistically known, the ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ girl.
The movie is set in a post apocalyptic world in which the entire of the human species was turned to zombies from a reaction to ‘mad cow’ disease. Living and fighting their way to survival, this action comedy is the perfect movie for nearly every mood. When i first went to see this in the cinema in 2009 when it was released, i hadn’t been given much of a blurb about the plot or setting of the film. I went in quite open-minded thinking okay it’ll probably be a generic zombie action film. I could not have walked out of that cinema screen any more impressed than i was. Here was a piece of film that ticked all the boxes i didn’t even know to add in to the checklist. I’m a huge Woody Harrelson fan so the moment i heard he was in it i assumed i’d enjoy it regardless, what i hadn’t expected was for there to be so many big-belly laughs. Some subtle comedic relief along with outbursts of chuckles. The juxtaposition of the two male protagonists is an unlikely duo, but two that actually offset each other and contrast well. Harrelson’s character makes luring or hunting zombie’s something of an art.
There is a little something resonating throughout the film that feels a little Kerouac’s On The Road-ish. The feel of the Bildungsroman as well is quite strong here, although technically there is only one child in the film, the characters all have developing to do in their own personal journey’s. As the road narrative progresses, so do the lovable and eccentric people.
There’s a surprisingly long list of life lessons that could be taken out of the protagonists book of rules for surviving Zombieland and applied to normal life. The character ‘Columbus’ (Jesse Eisenberg) maintains a list of rules that he adhere’s to and occasionally adds to every once in awhile. Before the apocalypse hit we learn that our protagonist was someone who was a bit of a shut-in naturally, and as he eloquently puts it “I treated people like they were zombie’s before they even were, now that they are zombie’s, i kind of miss people.” His list grows as the film persists, like for instance, blowing off steam every once in awhile..
I’ll also point out that the direction and cinematography is equisitly done.
Exhibit A :
There’s a lot of violence, and some seriously gory parts to the film, if your squeamish about that sort of thing then perhaps it might not be an ideal film for you. But, i will say that even though it is an incredibly gruesome movie, because its done in such a comedic lens its somehow not as intense to watch, plus you get the sense of the fun they have whilst killing, a little like being inside a video game, with everything being timed just right.
There’s also a few notable cameo’s, the first, Miss Amber Heard.
And secondly, more importantly, the one and only Bill Murray. There’s a lot of nods to Murray and a good few of the films he’s done have been integrated into this film. The man is a legend and he gets to personify himself in an alternate reality, he also has some hysterical one-liners and brings some lightheartedness to the piece.
And of course he shows some classy ‘West Coast hospitality’ like a real G.
So dive in and watch this foursome’s rambunctious adventures in Zombieland, no matter your mood this movie is golden.
Rating : 8/10
If none of the above has grabbed you, ill add that Emma Stone is ridiculously smoldering in this. Fact.