Friday, February 12, 2010

"Zombieland" is a Pleasant Surprise

Typically, I'm not a fan of the horror genre. In fact, I usually avoid it like a plague. However, this was one film that was highly tauted. Having seen many previews, I was intrigued. Still, I approached the film with caution. I was highly entertained by Simon Pegg in 2004's zombie spoof "Shaun of the Dead". Although its follow-up, "Hot Fuzz" was not of the same genre, it brought back the same cast and director, and kept much of the same dry British humor. In "Zombieland", directed by relative film newcomer Ruben Fleischer, I found the humor to be similar to these two films.

In the film, Jesse Eisenberg plays "Columbus" a somewhat eccentric, paranoid young man who is trying to get home to Columbus, Ohio to see his estranged parents. Along the way, he meets Woody Harrelson's "Tallahasse". He turns out to be somewhat of a zombie head hunter who wants to get revenge for the death of somebody close to him. The two men form a strange friendship based on a mutual hatred of a world-wide pandemic which has turned everyone into flesh eating zombies. One thing that brings the two men together, besides survival, is their strange habits and yearnings. While Columbus lives by a list of rules, and has a rather embarassing medical problem, Tallahasse only wants one thing; a Twinkie. This certainly makes for a hilarious series of events. During one of their shopping/zombie killing sprees, they encounter a two-woman sister con team whose only goal is to get to a supposedly zombie-free amusement park in California, one that they both visited when they were younger. The four of them then bond an equally strange friendship.

As I mentioned, I was skeptical. Films like this one don't usually intrigue me. But there was something about this one that piqued my curiosity. One thing that drew me to this film was Woody Harrelson. We've seen him in off the wall comedic films such as the bowling comedy "Kingpin" and in dramatic films, such as his Academy Award-nominated role as bigger than life magazine editor Larry Flynt in "The People vs. Larry Flynt". Secondly, I was intrigued by the dry comedic wit. Harrelson is great at delivering his comedic lines with a dead-pan expression, which almost makes his lines exponentially funnier.

If you are a zombie skeptic, see this movie. It's not so much a story about zombies, but a story of four friends who have a singular goal; survival. It's a story of survival of the fittest, opposites attract, and so on. This is an excellent, well-made film, and one that will be added to my personal collection soon.

1 comment:

  1. I love this movie. Lots of action and zombie killing. Always shoot them a 2nd time in the head. Perfect parody of night of the living dead type movies.