After hearing that the cast of Zombieland were getting back together to film a Part 2; I thought that I must acquaint myself with the original (to anticipate whether or not I would enjoy the forthcoming sequel.) Also, I was quite excited to see how it stood up as an individual film; as, I had heard very good things going into it that made me expect to be pleasantly surprised. Moreover, it stars: Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg and Emma Stone; who are three of my favourite actors. For a cast effectively made up of just four people; it was great to see three of them were actors that I truly admire, right at the forefront. Finally, who doesn’t like seeing the world getting overrun in a post-apocalyptic, dystopian future; where zombies roam freely and get killed in a series of increasingly of gruesome, startling and hysterically hilarious ways? Now, if you are the kind of person that answered no to any part of that insanely long and specific question, then I’m afraid this film just isn’t the one for you.
What is it about?
Set in present day United States, *my attempt at satirical humour*, this film is about a country completely descended into chaos after the outbreak of a virus leading to a zombie apocalypse. Patient 0 was said to have contracted the initial pathogen via an infected hamburger and the trail of rampant destruction, has spread incessantly from there. We join the story two months down the line with our narrator, Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg,) briefly recounting experiences of the time passed, while explaining the list of rules that were paramount in ensuring his survival (to this point.) However, his time as a lone wolf quickly comes to an end, when he meets Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson.) He is a vicious and effective killer; who has a sadistic sense of humour; as well as, a desperate need for Twinkies. Then further down the line the pair meet two sisters: Witchita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) and despite clear tribulations, they begin to develop their own dysfunctional family in their fight against the zombie apocalypse, on their way to Pacific Playland.
What did I think?
This film was so much fun. I thought that the mix of dark themes and comedy, gave the film a light exterior while developing gritty undertones. I think that the cast are the main reason the humour works, as: they are so quick with their sequences of dialogue, one-liners and interjections just the way you would expect from a group of friends. My personal favourite, in respect to humour enthused, would have to be Woody Harrelson. On top of saying the outrageous things he did, he seemed to find himself funny and the whole performance he put on around the humour, exuded a likeable sensibility (accentuating any parts of the humour that included him.) Consistently, the gore was well-executed and a lot of fun. Seeing different ways the zombies were killed time after time never really got old as it was continually new and ingenious. My personal favourite was the death of a clown zombie, which you will understand when you see it, if you haven’t done so already. Moreover, this film’s smart, concise plot had the perfect running time for the film it wanted to be. At just 88 minutes, there was no room for the explosions of gore and humour to ever lose their gravitas (in relation to our interest within the film.) Therefore the film stayed interesting, before any of the abrasive characters could ever really begin to grate on us.
Although I knew from fairly early on roughly where this film would end up, due to knowledge of there being a second film in the works, I was still disappointed at the lack of jeopardy aroused. Until maybe an hour in, everything felt pretty easy-going; as, even a glance at the original poster told us what would ultimately happen, up to a point. However, even past this hour mark any of the peril suggested was quickly disposed of via quick fixes. The outcome of a scene involving Woody Harrelson inside a little stand was one of the most ridiculous things I have ever seen. Every shot leading up to it seemed to suggest danger but when it cut to a final scene the outcome evoked ideas of ease. I actually laughed out loud because it seemed too stupid to be true; but ultimately, I just moved on with the film Also, although I felt the group dynamic was good, I didn’t really invest in the relationship between Emma Stone and Jesse Eisenberg. It felt quite rushed from my perspective and only really came about due to: Wichita flippantly talking about Columbus as a ghost town, burnt to the ground and feeling bad for Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) who was hoping to find his parents there.
My Rating: 7/10
Despite my criticism, I thoroughly enjoyed this film; as I thought that moved along briskly and engaged me, almost absolutely, throughout. If you haven’t seen Zombieland then I would use Kick Ass as a base mark to see whether you’ll like it or not, as both contain similar humour and a ridiculous plethora of gore. Although I would say Kick Ass is the better film; for me to even be likening Zombieland to Kick Ass is a good thing, as Kick Ass is right up there with my favourite Action films of all time.