Film Review: Zombieland

16 Oct

Zombieland Poster

*****

Dubbed by some a “spiritual sequel” to 2006’s comedy horror film Shaun of the Dead, Zombieland arrives on UK shores with positive buzz and high expectations from those who still view Shaun as the high watermark of the rom-com-zom genre.

The film opens in modern day America, an alternate version of our world where Mad Cow disease has mutated into a virus which can turn healthy humans into rampaging zombies.

Dispensing with the commonly held belief that zombies can only shuffle along the ground after their prey, this breed of genetically altered undead can run faster than many humans, meaning a new set of rules has to be abided to if they are to be avoided.

Chief rule maker is Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), so called to avoid any feelings of closeness between survivors which might occur if real names are used, who roams the wastelands trying to eke out a life on his own.

Columbus soon meets Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), also out on his own and looking for Twinkies before they go out of date.

As the pair cross America they encounter groups of zombies in unusual places, sisters (Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin) who will do anything to stay ahead of the competition and the occasional pit stop which may or may not be the hiding place of the last Twinkie on Earth.

Zombieland is first and foremost a comedy, the horror far less important to its success. While gore and drama may make the odd appearance, the priority for all involved is to have fun and keep their tongues firmly in their cheeks at all time.

This is apparent from the opening montage sequence depicting the zombies causing death and destruction while characters crash through the on-screen titles, other title cards popping-up throughout the film and becoming part of the action.

With this in mind some of the plot holes (of which there are many) that crop up become less important, the need to move the story from A to B of prime importance.

If you can accept nothing much is meant to be taken seriously you should get something out of the film, the odd bit of romance and emotion thrown in to hit a few more bases.

The story itself is a straightforward one but it’s a fun ride in the company of likeable characters. There might not be too much danger for anyone for long periods, but this is made up for by some amusing dialogue which keeps the story moving along at a decent pace.

Eisenberg and Harrelson make for a fine buddy-movie pairing, though it might have been nice to see the film up the gore count slightly and aim for a higher rating, Harrelson in particular seemingly born to play a maniac zombie killer with a gun fetish.

With a run time of only 88 minutes Zombieland never outstays its welcome, the slow-motion heavy finale the highpoint of an already infectiously fun flick.

Zombieland is out now in the UK

Watch the Zombieland trailer:

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