Wednesday, October 07, 2009

"Zombieland" (2009) - Movie Review

What are zombies? What do they think? Are they just animals? Well, any reasonable question for psychoanalysis of these beings do not get in the “Zombieland” or do we get at all in any zombie films. But “Zombieland” has it work set out, which is to kill zombies in a fantasizing display of glorious violence. “Shaun of the Dead” did a spoof/homage of this beings contribution to the horror genre and “Zombieland” rightly uses them as target machines than real horror. It has four people and despite their despair and loneliness manages to survive in some sort of fun and hope.

By now in the films of lifeless blood suckers, the audience do not need a tutorial on how the world met with a pandemic disease but the narrator (Jesse Eisenberg) in this post apocalypse globe familiarizes with his rules, his surviving rules and they come as a three dimensional note on the screen. He is thin but has immense running strength to outrun the zombies. That is his first rule, rule#1 cardio he says and that keeps him breathing (no pun intended). A nerd whose dissociation skills to be friendless have assisted so far to be alone but it is getting to him. Now he is in desperate need for a face without blood and flesh dripping from the mouth. He is hoping to find his parents he has not been close with in Columbus, Ohio. He meets a bad ass cowboy (Woody Harrelson) heading to Tallahassee. Since making friends is dangerous if one of them gets bitten, the man suggests to be called each other by their place of birth. Hence Columbus and Tallahassee head out east.

Tallahassee and Columbus are the buddy movie the Hollywood loves to put upon. One a young, naïve and shy kid while the other an old man with a character and temper of his own. Not to mention in the weird obsession of Tallahassee to find the Twinkie to quench his sugar and fat thirst. But he tells the reason, what if that will be the last Twinkie to be had and he reminds that it indeed has its expiry date. The vending machine Twinkies I have seen never seem to be bought but also never seem to go gooey but it is getting there. They travel to have some destination where there is nothing but well zombies.

“Zombieland” is fun because it treats these cannibals as the dumb and brainless as they are. As much as frightening, gross and grotesque they are, they are not the brightest bulbs in this endangered humans. They run with their mouths open succumbing quite horribly to the blows of Tallahassee’s inventive tools to knock the heck out of them. Woody Harrelson is an actor does not bother himself with main roles unless or otherwise it is necessary. He comfortably can settle in any supporting characters and develop a place within any film. And in here he is not annoying giving hard time to his newfound friends but is cheered up to kill zombies, always have a mouth for advice and a compassion believable to invite sympathy for this tough guy.

Jesse Eisenberg has a thing going for him with this nerdy but not so nerdy young man. He was dancing toe to toe with Jeff Daniels in “The Squid and the Whale” and turned it to the regular kid in “Adventureland”. In “Zombieland”, he maintains the character but not there yet to be nothing new as Michael Cera is turning out to be. Emma Stone after “Superbad” warms up to a caliber role wherein she not alone is available as the hot girl for Eisenberg’s Columbus but a con girl of a kind paired with the smart Abigail Breslin.

With Bill Murray playing himself in this land of desolation and zombie killing as an entertainment, director Rubin Fleischer matches up the “Shaun of the Dead” in his style. A film generally achieves a confidence and stays in the confidence with the success in its first act. And most of all is that its characters have a clear intention to survive than to fall as a prey to a badly plotted screenplay fiasco. Each of them has a genuine instinct to keep their head above the water. For a film aiming on fun entertainment it for the first time in the genre deals with survival than being killed and at certain level we become confident along with the characters of that ability. “Zombieland” is fun.

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