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Review of Zombieland

Zombieland: The Feel-Good Zombie Flick of the Year

A Note From Buzz: With so many new movies this week, my friend Très was nice enough to apply her scary-movie expertise to review the box office's newest zombie flick.

In the United States of Zombieland, zombies outnumber people. A mad-cow tainted burger tipped the population in favor of the drooling, limping, and grunting set, and now zombies roam a crashed-car littered, empty-minimall-blighted zombiescape.

Columbus (Adventureland's Jesse Eisenberg), the virginal antihero of horror-comedy Zombieland, has learned to survive this zombie apocalypse by keeping a list of necessary survival skills. Rule #1? Cardio. If you don't want zombies gnawing on you like an hors d'oeuvre, you'd better be fast and limber. In addition, beware of bathrooms, practice the "double tap" (make sure your zombie's actually dead after you kill him), and don't be a hero. (Regarding this last rule — some rules were made to be broken.)


When Columbus meets up with Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), a swaggering cowboy type with a penchant for tank-like cars, shotguns, and Twinkies, and the spitfire sister duo of Wichita (Emma Stone) and Arkansas (Little Miss Sunshine's Abigail Breslin), Zombieland takes off like a scary/fun amusement park ride. To find out what happens on this motley crew's wild road trip from hell,

There's something funny about zombies and the zombie genre, and in his first feature film, director Ruben Fleischer plays their comic possibilities to the hilt. Zombies don't have what you'd call well-rounded personalities; they're pretty predictable. They have bad attitudes, come out of nowhere, grunt, and see all nonzombies as food to feast on. They're the perfect foil (or straight men, even) to a cast of characters with more than enough personality to make up for the zombies' boorish one dimensionality.

Take nebbishy Columbus. The world changed for him, he tells us in an early voice-over, when a pretty neighbor he calls #406, asks to stay over because a crazed homeless man tries to bite her. Sadly, although she falls asleep on Columbus's shoulder, she wakes up as a rabid zombie and begins chasing him around his apartment, forcing him to repeatedly knock her over the head with a toilet lid. "The first time I let a girl in my life," deadpans Columbus, "and she tries to eat me."

This kind of witty dialogue abounds in Zombieland, and although fans of gore and violence against zombies will be more than satisfied (Tallahassee's scenes of zombie-killing, especially, have a Tarantinoesque choreography to them), it's really the mismatched goofball characters and how they bond and evolve, surprisingly, that hold the film together. A hilarious cameo from Bill Murray in the Beverly Hills sequence of Zombieland, also, is practically worth the price of admission.

Harrelson chews the scenery as Tallahassee, but as we find out, part of the reason he's hell-bent on killing zombies is because they took away his baby boy. As for the sisters, tough-girl Wichita just wants to take care of her little sister Arkansas (who, as a good shot, doesn't seem to need much help), but a beautiful girl has needs, too, and before long she develops feelings for Columbus. Will he or won't he finally be able to live out his nerd-boy fantasy of brushing the hair over a girl's ear?

You probably know the answer to that question, but just because Zombieland adheres to certain formulas doesn't mean that it doesn't revive them in witty ways. Although the zombie-killing gore fest may not be for everyone, Zombieland's amazing visuals, charming characters, and witty dialogue may leave a goofy grin on your face as you leave the theater.

Photos courtesy of Sony Pictures

Join The Conversation
melissaS melissaS 7 years
I just finished watching the movie and couldn't agree more, it really is a feel-good zombie flick with fun characters
JCP0240 JCP0240 7 years
Suzpuz couldn't agree with you more!
suzpuz suzpuz 7 years
Just saw the movie last night, and I loved it! Tres you did a great job on the review! To all those who are complaining about "spoilers" in any review there will some kind of spoiler....If you are really that obsessed about spoilers DON"T READ reviews and be insulting. That is just plane rude. I am so sick of all the rude commenters on popsugar. I know it is a website for people to voice their opinion, but there is stating your opinion and then there is just being rude & insulting.
lellybear lellybear 7 years
i gotta agree with Smacks. i'm glad i've already seen it, 'cause some key points were definitely given away. i appreciate the effort, but don't quit your day job.
Smacks83 Smacks83 7 years
Um, I think this review gave away WAAAAY too much info on the movie that would have been funnier if you let people see it for themselves. I read a ton of reviews for this movie and all the others said that there was a celebrity cameo that would be great, but didn't mention it because they said they didn't want to ruin things. Plus you gave away the fact that his kid died due to zombies. Why would you give away info that is so important to the film. you didn't write a review, you wrote a recap/synopsis that basically gave away anything that really worth finding out on your own watching the movie. I am normally really nice about stuff on the Sugar boards,but that just pisses me off.
tepiza tepiza 7 years
so the only reason i went to see this is because jesse eisenberg is amazing, but bill murray made it that much better! thumbs up for sure!
fribblesandyoko fribblesandyoko 7 years
I can't wait to see this! Love zombie movies, especially ones that incorporate humor in a good way :D
Kazagirl Kazagirl 7 years
I am going to see this tomorrow.
psterling psterling 7 years
I HATE zombie movies but I would see this one!
piper23 piper23 7 years
I've totally been trying to avoid reading about who the celebrity zombie cameo is so that it wouldn't ruin the suprise - Bill Murray, dern.
Pistil Pistil 7 years
I am so psyched to see this movie! Can't wait!
Home Home 7 years
Totally seeing this!
filmgirl81 filmgirl81 7 years
Great review, Tres. Now I want to see this movie
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