Zombies and comedy. Shaun of the Dead shown they could co-exist, Zombieland decided to take it in a different direction. While it does hit on some of the same themes about relationships between people and what have you, it carves out an identity of its own in this rather small niche market.
When the movie begins, zombies have already become an epidemic wiping out almost all of humanity. We first meet Columbus (Jessie Eisenberg, who was also in Adventureland, giving him a near monopoly on “-land” movies) who has managed to stay alive through a stringent list of rules. He meets up with Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) a much more reckless and aggressive fellow. While Colombus wants to avoid zombies, Tallahassee has an affinity for killing them. They head off together until they run into the sibling duo of Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) a couple of con artists whom Tallahassee takes a dislike toward while Columbus is smitten with Wichita. However, you probably aren’t surprised to find out that this group learns to put aside their differences and bond with one another.
Obviously, you probably won’t be surprised to find out this is a movie that is occasionally quite violent and gory. That’s not my thing, but it wasn’t egregious enough to ruin the movie for me, but if you have a particularly extreme aversion to violence and/or gore, you may want to steer clear. Although, I will point out that the movie is frontloaded in terms of gore, so if you can stick it out you’re sort of in the clear.
However, it isn’t these moments I enjoyed, it was the character interaction. In particular, the relationship between Columbus and Tallahassee was quite good and there is a good chemistry between the main characters. Much of the comedy comes from conversational asides juxtaposed with the carnage of a zombie apocalypse, such as Tallahassee’s intense desire to get his hands on a Twinkie. Plus, there is the whole sort of set piece in the middle of the film with a certain cameo that got the world all riled up when the film was in theatres. You know, spoilers and all that. I shant spoil it in case you haven’t seen it and you haven’t heard who it is yet,but it is definitely a very funny aside within the film, and I was aware of the cameo before seeing the movie.
While it isn’t as funny as Shaun of the Dead, and the gore is more unpleasant, Zombieland is still a good, funny movie that’s probably worth watching even if you aren’t interested in watching zombies killing or getting killed.