Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick
Jesse Eisenberg as Columbus
Woody Harrelson as Tallahassee
Emma Stone as Wichita
Abigail Breslin as Little Rock
In a day in the future, Mad Cow Disease will morph and transform into a deadly viral outbreak that makes the dead walk again, feasting on human flesh. The transformation happens quickly, catching soccer moms off guard as they drop their little princess off at children’s birthday parties, shocking women who have just purchased pink milkshakes and appearing suddenly to men in the midst of placing dollar bills in the string of a stripper’s thong. This, ladies and gentlemen, is Zombieland.
Zombieland is just like any other average town across this land, except that there are no people who are not flesh feasting freaks, everything is trashed and littered and there are no Twinkies. Oh, and Zombieland also suffers from Urban Sprawl – the borders expanding across the entire world. That’s different too. Two survivors (Jesse Eisenberg and Woody Harrelson) strike out together in search for surviving family, baked snacks and the Zombie Kill of the Week. When they come across a pair of sisters accomplished at living by their wits (Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin) the stakes get higher in a “town against town” quest for survival… and love.
Holy cow, that overview was cheesy, huh? Just like this film – Cheese-o-Matic, but in a good way. This film is hilarious at every turn, accentuated by some very good and graphic zombie kills. The budget is huge and it shows, from the distance the blood flies when zombies splat on the pavement after a fall to the elasticity of the arteries and neck flesh as they are ripped out by a zombie’s teeth.
Woody Harrelson is just as you would expect in this film, being Woody Harrelson with every fiber of his dinner… I mean being. After watching the trailer I feared that his “aw shucks, I’m so funny” overacting was going to be highly annoying, but upon watching the film it became clear that his overacting may have been the most subtle thing about the experience. It worked perfectly. The writing was very good also, my favorite Tallahassee line being “I’m not easy to get along with, and I can tell that you’re a bit of a bitch…” The lines are, of course, eclipsed by the quest for “Zombie Kill of the Week”.
Jesse Eisenberg plays the “straight man” and, as the keeper of the rules for survival in a world as the hunted, plays it well; very necessary considering the over the top Harrelson performance. The chemistry between the two is perfect.
Great cameo, by the way… other reviewers may have already given it away, but I will not. I’m gonna call it perfect.
My primary complaint about this film is that it’s a little short. At 80 minutes I was not near ready for the thing to end. Although I left the theater wanting more, I did not feel gypped either, so that might have been the point.
If you are expecting Zombieland to be cheesy, gory, funny and completely over the top without a serious bone in it’s body, you will not be disappointed. Good one to see and a welcome addition to the Zom/Com library.