Harrelson) wants a Twinkie. As far as things to do at the
end of the world go, noshing on a golden spongy snack cake
is as noble a goal as any other. Those things might be bad
for you, but not nearly as bad as the entire population
wanting to nosh on you. In Zombieland, you need to
take time to enjoy the little things.
the movie, you have a lot of little things to enjoy. Writers
Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick created a Twinkie of a script;
maybe it's not all that nutritious as movies go, but it
sure tastes good going down. With director Ruben Fleischer,
it's really more a whole box - because you want another
one, don't you?
Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), the movie offers the irony of
survivors who weren't all that connected to humanity when
it was thriving. Even after a variation of mad cow disease
alters the planet, Columbus and his cohorts can't seem to
be bothered with the entanglement of knowing each other's
real names. It's just so much easier that way.
are bonding together in a way that few movies of the genre
allow. Despite calling each other by the names of their
home towns, the four survivors manage to tentatively make
connections, becoming real without the movie bogging down
in treacle. Even when a devastating truth about Harrelson's
character comes pouring out - more devastating than the
realization that he's essentially a psycho in paradise,
but our kind of psycho - Fleischer leavens the moment.
This is, after all, a comedy, but it has something better
than a cream center. Zombieland has a little heart.
And it's dripping
through the teeth of the undead.
The movie doesn't
shirk from the gore. In fact, it kind of revels in it, letting
the audience explore the thrills of creative zombie-killing.
Perhaps it's a side effect of too many violent video games,
as young Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) suggests. But again,
if you're fighting for your very survival, you might as
well try to be creative about it.
trusts the script and the actors with long stretches of
characters sparring. You might even root for Eisenberg starting
a relationship with Wichita (Emma Stone), and not just because
they'd be humanity's only hope for a next generation. Zombieland
is too knowing, and the character of Columbus too legitimately
dorky, to make it that simple an argument.
The film also
stops for an hilarious sequence involving a celebrity cameo.
No spoiler here beyond it being a chance for that actor
to spoof the Hollywood lifestyle and take shots at himself
with good humor.
movie turns it's good-natured and clever. Zombieland
makes a good early Halloween treat, and the kind of movie
that should stand up to repeated viewings. It's junk food,
but every now and then, nothing else will do.