The zombie apocalypse has taken place. Most of humanity now shuffles around trying to eat flesh whilst moaning a lot. The few survivors have only lived this long due to either having brains or brawn, or in Columbus’s (Jesse Eisenberg) case, it’s by strictly following a set of self-determined rules. We are introduced to all of these in a really slick and stylish opening few minutes, accompanied in part by Metallica’s For Whom the Bell Tolls. To be honest, I was already pretty sold on the movie by this point. There’s a load of humour, blood, zombies, and you get the feeling that this movie is here to purely provide you with a really good time – and it certainly manages to.
Zombieland is often described as America’s answer to Shaun of the Dead, and I reckon that’s a pretty fair description. It’s not as intelligent or as knowing, but it’s pretty close and delivers in a similar way. The film’s set within the typical zombie apocalypse tradition; survivors who are almost complete opposites of each other are forced to work together in order to survive, and in this film that’s the nerdy, Mountain Dew drinking, World of Warcraft playing Columbus, who is paired with the zombie hating, tough guy Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson). The dynamic between them is predictable but is still a lot of fun to watch, and although at first they may appear to be fairly shallow characters, during the course of the film it becomes apparent that these are actually a couple of fleshed out and nicely realised roles. The rest of the cast is comprised of Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin. Stone predictably is great; breathing life and a lot of humour into what could easily have been merely the ‘hot chick’ role. Breslin is also a real surprise, easily keeping up with her co-stars despite her young age.
Apart from the cast, the film also has a lot of other elements to recommend it. There’s a good mixture of humour, stylized violence, and one utterly perfect cameo moment. I think nearly everyone knows who the actor/actress is that makes the appearance, but I’ll not spoil it just in case. What you should know is that those who tout this as the greatest ever cameo have a very strong case on their hands; it’s a lot of fun and is expertly handled. It’s almost worth seeing the film for it alone!
If you haven’t seen Zombieland, as I hadn’t (thank you to all of you who have recommended it to me), it’s definitely one that you shouldn’t miss. Grab a bowl of popcorn, get a few beers in and just have fun with it. I doubt you’ll regret it.