October 4, 2009

Zombieland - 2009

Director: Ruben Fleischer
Writers: Rhett Reese & Paul Wernick
Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Abigail Breslin, Emma Stone

This film, made mostly by unknowns in front of and behind the camera, is yet another interpretation of the zombie apocalypse that's become so popular these days, replete with the fast-moving sort of zombies that would actually be threatening. In this work, mad cow disease is the precursor to the zombie virus (so technically they're not zombies, at least in the "undead" sense). We follow an intrepid band of survivors, each with their own motivation:
  • Columbus (Eisenberg): formerly a WoW-playing, Code Red-chugging, multiphobic shut-in, he's just trying to stay alive
  • Tallahassee (Harrelson): the zombies got his "little pup," so he spends his life killing them in various brutal ways (especially if they stand in his way of finding the world's last Twinkie)
  • Wichita & Little Rock (Stone & Breslin): two sisters trying to reach Pacific Playland, an allegedly zombie-free theme park on the West Coast
I don't know what more has to be said about this movie than simply "wow." The script is a fresh take on an old favorite, each actor speaks their lines with skill that some twice their experience can't muster...I could go on and on. Zack Snyder needs to take a page out of this book, because these guys actually understand the proper use of slow motion (which can be surprisingly epic). Columbus lives by a set of often-humorous rules, which appear on-screen and subtly interact with the environment. Oh, and Zombieland also has the single greatest celebrity cameo I've ever seen. My only flaw with the movie comes with one scene: Columbus and Wichita are discussing what life was like for them in 1997, and say they were 14 at the time, meaning they would have to be born in 1983. Now, maybe it's just because they's both played high school kids recently (see Adventureland and Superbad), but I don't think either of them approach looking to be in their mid-20s, though Eisenberg is 26 and Stone is 21. At any rate, I'd say this is the best comedy of the year. Check it out ASAP.

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