Zombieland: DVD, Blu-ray Movie Review (2010)

1/30/2010 Posted by Admin

DVD, Blu-ray Movie Review


Directed by Ruben Fleischer, written by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, 81 minutes, rated R.

By Christopher Smith

Ruben Fleischer's "Zombieland" is a spoof on the zombie genre, and it literally and figuratively is killer. It’s laugh-out-loud funny, the gore is beautifully over-the-top, Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick’s wicked script is laced with a cutting wit, and the acting across the board is superb.

Yes, superb. Whenever you’re dealing with a genre that walks the line between two genres--horror and comedy--don’t underestimate the talent it takes to successfully pull that off. It’s not as easy as it seems. Essentially, you’re asking your cast to play it up when the humor is high, and to keep it reasonably serious when the gutting gets rough.

All involved do that here, which is trickier than you might expect especially since nobody here shows their hand. Unlike, say, the “Scary Movie” franchise, the actors in “Zombieland” keep their tongues planted firmly in cheek. They never wink at the screen, and that alone gives the production a boost.

The film begins in a post-apocalyptic world in which most of the human race has been overcome by zombies. Hungry zombies. Well-fed zombies. A hot-mess slew of zombies, none of whom ever would qualify as a MENSA candidate, but all of whom score points for their robust appetites and, in many cases, their impressive cardio vascular fitness.

Naturally, some humans survive, starting with a young man we come to know as Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), because that’s his hometown. We know a few things about him. He’s had a sorry homelife--his parents were shut-ins. He’s something of a dork--but a shrewd survivor armed with a handful of life-saving rules. He’s also a virgin who has yet to make it to first base--and he’s eager to put a stop to that.

Next up is Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson, neatly reviving his career), a Twinkie-loving cowboy who comes along Columbus and reluctantly decides to share the troubled road with him. Meanwhile, two scamming sisters enter the picture in Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin), who have their share of trust issues, as Columbus and Tallahassee find out when the two duos form a team.

Surprises abound, particularly in an inspired cameo that won’t be revealed here. Action drives the movie as swiftly as its hot undercurrent of humor, with some of the best scenes taking place at a California amusement park, whose rides offer plenty of clever ways to kill the zombies--but also to become trapped by them. And yet what really moves the movie forward and allows it to gel into something special is the cast, all of whom have such undeniable chemistry (you’ll never look at Breslin the same way again), we can only hope for what must come next: “Zombieland II.”

Grade: A

View the trailer below. What are your thoughts?

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  1. Hugo said...

    I love this movie, really great and fun to watch.

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