After a virus turns most people into zombies, the world’s surviving humans remain locked in an ongoing battle against the hungry undead. Four survivors — Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) and his cohorts Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) — abide by a list of survival rules and zombie-killing strategies as they make their way toward a rumored safe haven in Los Angeles.
I vividly rember watching Ruben Fleischer’s Zombieland for the first time ever when I was just nine years of age, when the film was released on home video. Usually, every weekend, my family and I would go down to our local Blockbuster video store and look for a good movie to rent for the weekend for all of us to watch. I remember one day, we found Zombieland, and something about the cover of the movie, and the overall vibe of the poster, intrigued us. It looked like a unique comedy that had plenty to offer, and so we chose that as our rental for that weekend.
We went home and later on that night, my mom, dad, and I all watched it and we had a heck of a good time watching, in my opinion, one of the greatest horror comedies of all time.
Fleischer’s film, which has recently been viewed as a sort of cult classic, is only eighty eight minutes in length, but it never really feels too short or too long. The running time practically perfect, except there is one sequence in the second act of the film that feels somewhat out of place. Yes, the scene in question does add some character depth and pulls on the heartstrings, which heavily surprised me upon first and even second viewings, but it still feels like it detracts a little bit from the main story. Plus, there is one shot towards the final few scenes in the film, with really bad slow motion.
But besides those two things, the rest of the movie is a non-stop laugh riot with a ton of heart, and bloody zombie fun that will be sure to entertain even those that are not big fans of the zombie killing genre of film. I, for one, do not care for zombie films myself, mainly because they are so tiresome and almost always follow the exact same formula every single time. But Zombieland is that rare movie that goes above and beyond, and takes what we think we know about the zombie genre and does new things to make it fresh again.
By far one of the greatest elements to this picture is the performances all across the board. Jesse Eisenberg is Columbus, a shy, nerdy college student that one day wants to have a family, as he was never really all that close to his parents. Woody Harrelson as Tallahassee is a great addition to the cast as well. His character is absolutely hilarious to watch on screen, and watching him attempt to find just one Twinkie makes for some truly hysterical scenes.
Emma Stone portrays Wichita in this film, and her sister Little Rock is portrayed by Abigail Breslin. Both of these two are also really fun to watch on screen, and they are characters that may take you off guard once you see what the film does with them. The first time I saw Zombieland, I was certainly surprised by what happens.
Zombieland is a truly hilarious, unique, and diverting horror comedy with great performances all across the board.
Overall Grade: A-
MPAA Rating: R for horror violence/gore and language
Cast: Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, Abigail Breslin
Directed by: Ruben Fleischer
Distributed by: Sony Pictures Releasing
Running Time: 88 minutes