Zombieland (R) ★★★

Zombies Invade Chicago During a Red Carpet Event

I’m not a big fan of horror films so the fact that this film is basically a comedy loosely based on horror is ok with me. I saw “Night of the Living Dead” at the theater many years ago and can still remember laughing outloud. Zombies, for whatever reason, are usually stupid and can easily be out-smarted, which in the end, makes them funny. Oh—believe me, this is the case in “Zombieland”! The zombies look really stupid as their make-up is over the top, decked out in blood and black liquid oozing out of their mouths. After a while, one becomes used to these revolting creatures and simply roots against them. Yes, it’s great fun and pure no-brainer entertainment!

Woody Harrelson and Jesse Eisenberg star as the ‘dynamic duo’ in a future world where zombies are as normal as downloading music to your iPod. Eisenberg is the narrator of the film and gives us the background story regarding the zombies including flashbacks to his first encounter with one. He’s portrayed as a geeky, somewhat cautious, and fearful guy who has similar characteristics to Michael Cera’s characters in “Juno” and “Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist.” There’s something about Eisenberg and I can’t quite put my finger on it; but he’s very believable in this geeky role just as he was in one of my favorite films this year “Adventureland.” He’s extremely likeable and the perfect contrast for the cocky, random and non-fearing Harrelson role.

We view the pair as they motor across America in search of a place where zombies don’t inhabit. (If such a place exists, no one knows for sure although there are rumors). Along the way, they kill the zombies in various ways just to make the film creatively watchable and to relieve their characters of boredom. Both have coined the phrase, ‘Zombie Kill of the Week’ and strive for this honor.  They eventually meet up with two characters who are sisters, actresses Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin. The girls are a great addition to the film and add to the craziness, along with providing a love interest for our guy heroes.

The ever popular Billy Murray makes a hysterical appearance near the middle of the film and it is for sure laugh out loud fun!  He basically has a very small part but when he’s onscreen the film takes it up a notch in the laugh meter department. The audience that I viewed the film with (95% dressed as zombies) were roaring during his scenes.  

Near the end of the film, the scene shifts to a cheesy amusement park of which I’m sure Jesse Eisenberg is wondering how in the world he ended up in another one of these wacky carney  places as in his last film “Adventureland.” It’s great fun as the fluorescent bright lights, zany wild rides and loud blaring obnoxious music attract hoards of zombies. (Yes, zombies also have really bad taste in their entertainment, who knew!) We now view hundreds of these zombie creatures as Harrelson goes ballistic trying to fight them all.

Repeat after me, “It’s a no brainer movie!  It’s a no brainer movie!”

Simply sit back relax and enjoy being immersed into the wacky world of Zombieland!

Sarah Adamson © 2009