Zombieland was a movie I was highly anticipating. All the reviews out there made me want to watch it even more. People were saying it was absolutely hilarious, and some even made the bold claim that it was even funnier than Shaun of the Dead. While I like to hear this I was skeptical it could surpass one of my favorite movies of all time, and I think that it definitely failed to live up to the overwhelming hype that surrounded it for me, but it wasn’t a bad movie.
Let me first say that I liked Zombieland. I found it to be a fun experience, and it is definitely a movie you want to see in the theater with a big crowd. The film really benefits from a good movie crowd to up the fun and laughs. It just won’t be AS good if you wait and watch it on DVD unless you are doing so with a bunch of friends, and some substances. Oh yeah…substances are definitely recommended for such a movie if you are into that sort of thing.
Zombieland is pretty descriptive in the title. It is more or less just another zombie movie, but not a HORROR movie. It is and should only be expected to be, a comedy. It is set in a post-apocalyptic U.S.A. that got infested somehow, and has little if any real plot. It follows Woody Harrelson as a badass zombie killer driving a #3 (This is an homage to Dale Earnhardt, obviously.) SUV with body plows on the front truck grilles. Jesse Einsberg as his new found weakling friend (He is actually the main character and the everyman), and a sister combo they meet along the way played by Emma Stone, and Abigail Breslin.
The effects are top notch so seeing it in the theater is a good idea for that aspect. Slow motion flying through the front windshield clips in the opening credits to their fun little way of coping with their “Zombie Kill of the Week” flashbacks. The way they incorporate their “Rules of Survival” into the scenes is also funny, and well done.
As a comedy, and as a zombie movie in general it isn’t as good as Shaun of the Dead. Let’s just say that outright to see what I was trying to compare it with going in based on reviews and overall hype. I found out immediately that it is more in line with a movie like Grindhouse: Planet Terror in the way it is presented. A lot of gore at times, and over the top action that tried to be unbelievable. I actually found Grindhouse to be more entertaining as well although it isn’t tehcnically a zombie/comedy movie .
Comedically it had some good one liners, and a few funny scenes, but to me it felt like they were just trying too hard the entire time to be funny. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t extremely funny at times, but it wasn’t side-splitting as most reviews would have you believe. I did laugh out loud probably 3-4 times, however.
The story was poor. Obviously a zombie movie isn’t going to have a great story, especially a comedy zombie movie, but the two sisters roles made absolutely no sense at all through the majority of the movie. The things they did were illogical (as people, not for a zombie movie), and the movie tried too hard to try and make them seem like some sort of awesome scam artists and outlaws, and it was silly. They were needed to move the story along in parts just to have a reason to tell the story, and throw a little emotion into it for the two main men in the movie, but it was just stupid at times.
Too long didn’t read version (for the general population):
Overall the movie is fun, has some good special effects, and a very good cameo that was even over-hyped to some degree. Once all the luster of “new movie” (IMDb.com ratings for new movies are always ridiculous. I wouldn’t go by this right away. I would expect it to land around a 7/10 eventually.) wears off I am not going to call this movie one of MY classics. Not something that I will want to watch over and over again like I was expecting with the concept and the people in it. Some people may find it in this, but it just didn’t cross into the realm for ME.
It is definitely worth a watch though and most people will like it. Considering the other crap out now this is one of the better movies for entertainment purposes, and is fantastic to watch with a good movie crowd (ie. don’t watch this at some douchebag arthouse and expect uptight tools to enjoy it.) Just don’t go in expecting an epic comedy classic. Just enjoy the fun of the crowd, gore, and laughs, and you will be fine.
Too long didn’t read version (for stuck up film nerds):
If you have high standards for movies in general it will disgust you in its obvious cliches in every scene trying to appeal to the general stupid masses, and nerds. This movie is supposed to be fun, but it was clearly made for the general idiot out there, the ex-teenage nerd, or the stoner that will be high enough to laugh at anything. If you can’t get over yourself and find comedy in these things this movie isn’t for you. If you want something that has a bit of depth, why the hell are you watching a movie called “Zombieland” anyways? That is your own fault.