Anthony's Film Review
Who knew that a horrorfest like this one could also be uplifting and fun...
Zombieland is a movie that, you could say, pokes fun at horror movie conventions, particularly those of old zombie pictures. I watched this movie with a friend, and after it was over, he and I quickly identified two cliches that were cleverly made fun of in this movie. One, the speed of zombie locomotion. In contrast to old zombie movies where the creatures walk very slowly with arms outstretched, the zombies in Zombieland run and do so pretty darn quickly. Two, when zombies in old movies are killed, they are assumed to be dead but actually are not. The same is true in Zombieland.
What makes this funny is the opening sequence of Zombieland. As most of the human race turns into zombies because of an unidentified virus, one of the characters, played by Jesse Eisenberg, explains some of his rules for surviving Zombieland. Rule #1: Cardio. Surviving Zombieland requires cardiovascular fitness in order to outrun any of these fast-moving blood-thirsty formerly human creatures. Rule #2: Double Tap. When killing a zombie, do it twice to make sure it's really dead. Expect to see these rules and a few others appear on the screen throughout the movie.
The plot of this movie is pretty simple. It's best described as a road trip movie sandwiched between the beginning and end of a horror movie. There are four strangers who haven't been turned into zombies yet. Jesse Eisenberg is a young virgin whose one-time encounter with a hot chick almost killed him. Woody Harrelson is a guy who's tough in every way except for his constant craving for Twinkies. Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin (of Little Miss Sunshine fame) are two sisters who are just trying to get by. Because they are strangers, they actually don't know each other's real names. They just refer to each other by names of U.S. cities: Eisenberg is Columbus (Ohio), Harrelson is Tallahassee (Florida), Stone is Wichita (Kansas), and Breslin is Little Rock (Arkansas).
Believe it or not, the focus of this movie isn't the zombies. It's these four people who slowly become friends because there's barely anyone else around. Yes, they do encounter a zombie here and there during their trip through abandoned areas, but those monsters only serve to strengthen these human bonds. This isn't to say there isn't tension, because you'll see plenty of that, especially when they first meet. Also, this isn't to say that the movie is not a horror movie, because if you're looking for a gorefest, you'll get it during the climax that takes place at an amusement park, which isn't extraordinary and spectacular but it's still fun to watch.
Is Zombieland a funny movie? It is. It's the kind that involves frequent little chuckles, though there is one scene where I laughed so hard. It involves someone who dies but should not have. For me to elaborate on this would only spoil the surprise. But I still consider Zombieland to be, first and foremost, a friendship movie that just happens to be in the context of a horror movie. I think it is touching, especially with an unexpected moral lesson that concludes the movie. I won't say what it is, but I will give you a hint. It's one of Columbus's rules for surviving Zombieland, and it's the most useful one of all.
For more information about Zombieland, visit the Internet Movie Database.