Rule #1 – you must go see this film.
Zombieland, directed by Ruben Fleischer and written by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick is one of the best films I’ve seen this year – cheesy storyline and predictable ending aside.
The United States of Zombieland – everyone’s worst nightmare. Sure, we’ve all thought about what we would do if the world suddenly became over run by zombies, but this film actually takes you into that scenario. We learn early on that the earth’s population has been decimated by a virus that turns people into zombies. Only a handful of people are left unharmed. Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), a university student making his way back to Ohio to hopefully find his parents alive is one of the fortunate survivors. A self-proclaimed loner, social reject and phobic, Columbus now lives by a code of rules, including ‘ Rule #1 – Cardio’, ‘Rule # 2 – double tap’ and ‘Rule # 3 – beware of bathrooms’. Columbus believes this code is the only reason he is still alive.
En route to Ohio, Columbus has a run in with Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), a questionable character looking for revenge on the zombies and in search of a Twinkie. Tallahassee offers, after an intense standoff between the two, to take Columbus as far as Texarcana. As the two continue west, they begin to forge a friendship. Columbus learns to loosen up and embrace his phobiass while Tallahassee learns to accept help and buckle his seatbelt. While pilfering a grocery store in search of Twinkies, they bump into Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin); two sisters who join the men on their quest out west while destroying any and all zombies they come into contact with.
This film did an excellent job of playing to the audience. You laughed, you jumped, you rooted for the good guys and you felt the sadness, anger and love that the characters felt throughout the film. The dialog worked. The film style worked. The casting worked. There was an on-screen chemistry that was undeniable and for much of the film, you felt as though you were walking along side the characters instead of just watching a story play out on screen.
While the ending was predictable and the storyline was cheesy, these aspects of the film don’t really bother you when you are actually watching it. In some ways, these elements almost make the film better. You know that this film isn’t trying to be the next best picture contender. You know that the cast realize they aren’t going to win a best actor/actress Oscar for their work in this film, and that’s okay because the pressure is off. You aren’t looking for a deeper meaning, you aren’t looking for the next ‘big thing’. You don’t expect to have your mind blown watching this film and as a result the ROI is far greater than you expected.
However, viewers beware. This movie earns it’s 18A rating and has plenty of gory moments throughout, but is a film that should be seen on the big screen with popcorn. Spend the $12.50 – you won’t be disappointed.
On a side note, you might also want to buy the soundtrack for this film. Once again, you won’t be disappointed.