Zombieland (2009) Review
Written by: N2NOther
Zombie films about a core group of survivors are, at this point, a staple of the genre and with that comes coming to terms that some of these people are going to die. You might actually care about these people, and it's a horrible thing. Shaun of the Dead, which is probably the best zombie film in the last 20 years, was keenly aware of this and while it was laugh out loud funny, it was also heart-wrenching and suspenseful. Zombieland is funny, but that's about it. Zombieland is no Shaun of the Dead, that's for sure. While amusing at times, brutally violent at others, the story and the characters just don't resonate as real people. Their motivations are simplistic and mostly two-note and the story is utterly predictable. Which is shame because the opening 10 minutes or so are fantastic.
The cast is incredibly likable as the should be-I have a new cinema crush in Emma Stone...those eyes..........huh? Oh yeah. Jesse Eisenberg is better at being Micheal Cera than Micheal Cera because he can be dry but also very funny. Woody Harrelson is goofy, over the top at times, and mostly amusing. But he's not so much a character as he is a caricature. He's there to be nothing more than goofy, over the top at times and mostly amusing. And the of course you have Abigail Breslin who could have easily been the annoyingly precocious little girl in this film, but she's not. She has some funny lines but overall she barely registers. If the cast wasn't so likable and sporadically funny, the movie would have been far worse.
Whats left is a series of events involving the 4 people trekking across America which is now being called "Zombieland" or "Z-land" for short. Of course all of these people come to like each other and turn out to be great people. Yawn. It's all very episodic and nothing feels like there are stakes involved. Never once did I feel like anyone was in any danger and that's because the zombies are played STRICTLY for laughs or blood splatter. If the characters were even remotely interesting beyond their most simplistic types or plot servitude I might have not given much of a shit that save for the beginning and the climax, there aren't many zombies in Z-land and not nearly as much carnage as one might come to expect. Again, the opening 10 minutes of the film is both incredibly funny as hell and wondefully gory.
I'm not even going to go into the cameo that took me right out of the movie because while I didn't find it very funny and found it incredibly indulgent, it has a really funny pay off so I guess I can deal.
The movie ends with a climax that is ignited by one of the dumbest, nonsensical character actions I've seen in a LONG time and it all ends exactly how I thought it would. There's even a voice over narration to tell you the lessons learned by all in case you haven't been paying attention.
All in all, Zombieland isn't a bad movie, it's just not nearly as good as it could have and should have been.