Movie Review: Zombieland

Review of new thriller-comedy Zombieland

Zombies are funny. They are dumb, emotionless creatures with little interest outside of the deliciousness of human brains.  Zombieland sees the humor in the undead and the result is perhaps one of the best zombie movies ever made and the funniest movie of the year.

The plot is simple, four survivors of the zombie apocalypse travel across the country in an attempt to stay alive.  The main character goes by the name Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) because that is his destination. The other survivors follow the same rule in order to keep from getting attached to one another; there is Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), Wichita (Emma Stone), and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) Each of them have very different personalities making them sort of an odd couple (or quadruplet?), but facing hordes of zombies and mankind’s extinction leaves little choice in who your friends are.

Outside of a general need for survival, there is little more depth to the storyline. The main destination, just to have a destination really, is the abandoned amusement park Pacific Playland, but just because the plot lacks substance doesn’t mean it isn’t good, it’s just simple.

While the storyline is good, it’s the characters themselves that make this movie perfect. In a world filled with mindless zombies, the few living people left need to have standout personalities and luckily each of these ones do.  Whether it’s having irritable bowl syndrome and an unnatural fear of clowns or an obsession with Twinkies, the four remaining survivors of the zombie apocalypse are hilariously unique. The actors that play them all are cast perfectly as well; I couldn’t picture anyone better to play the timid Columbus or the Rambo-esque Tallahassee.

While the idea of a zombie comedy isn’t new, much of what Zombieland does is original. Columbus has a set of rules that he follows in order to stay alive in Zombieland; occasionally these rules pop up on screen actually appearing as if they are part of the environment.  It’s a very subtle addition at times, but almost always gets a laugh.   Also what the characters do is pretty out of the ordinary for someone alive in the zombie apocalypse; their actions aren’t usually the best for survival yet at the same time they make perfect sense.

The film seems to ask the question, what would you do if you were the last people on earth?  And what they seem to do is stick to Columbus’s 32nd rule, enjoy the little things.  These survivors aren’t just living to survive; they are trying to enjoy their lives despite facing undead on a daily basis.  This leads to some pretty hilarious moments, including perhaps one of the greatest cameos in movie history, something that I fear saying anything more about with out giving too much away and ruining the surprise.

Very rarely does a movie come out that I am willing to see more than once in theaters, but every once in a while one comes out that I can’t wait for the DVD release to see it again.  Zombieland is one of those movies.  Zombieland is as close to the perfect horror-comedy as I could have hoped.  It’s more comedy than horror, and keeps the laughs coming from beginning to end.  Zombieland is a movie you should not miss, and you never know, you could just learn something incase you are faced with swarms of the undead yourself.