189 of 208 people found the following review helpful
Evil Dead II + Shaun of the Dead = Zombieland,
Let me start off by saying that I'm a huge zombie fan. Whether they're Romero's slow-moving shamblers or the fast-moving runners from Return of the Living Dead / 28 Days Later, I will give any zombie movie a try. Enter Zombieland, which when I heard about it, I instantly thought of that direct-to-DVD drivel you see on the rental store shelf that can barely pass as a B-movie. After watching the trailer however, I was genuinely intrigued. Luckily, my friend managed to get her hands on a few preview passes and what I saw was one of the most fun and enjoyable movies I've seen in years.
I'll say it now: This movie is NOT scary. If you go in expecting scares and frights, you're in the wrong place. While there's the occasional "boo" scare, Zombieland is a horror-comedy in the vein of Evil Dead II, The Return of the Living Dead, Shaun of the Dead, etc. As a matter of fact, the director was inspired by Shaun of the Dead to make Zombieland. The horror-comedy mixture is is a very hard thing to pull off, but this movie does it pretty well, leaning more towards the comedy.
The cast is great, with Woody Harrelson being the stand out. He is such a great tough guy and delivers some truly great one-liners that it brings back memories of his Natural Born Killers days. Jesse Eisenberg is the "goofy dorky guy" that keeps popping up in movies these days. He does a good job, but is nearly indistinguishable from someone like Michael Cera, who plays the exact same role every time. I liked this guy better because frankly I'm sick of seeing Michael Cera these days. Emma Stone (aka Jules from Superbad) plays a good tough girl and looks exactly like she did in Superbad, which isn't a bad thing. Abigail Breslin is fine, but she felt slightly out of place. There's also a bigger-than-a-cameo role by one of the funniest actors of all-time, but I don't want to spoil it here. Trust me, it's hysterical.
That's about it for the cast, except for the zombies themselves, which are very well done. They're gross, gooey, and vicious and the make-up and special effects look fantastic, especially now in the age of CGI crap. The movie does not skimp on the gore, so be prepared for a healthy serving of blood, guts, and zombie bites. The post-apocalyptic scenery looks amazing and really pulls you into the film. Zombie fans, you will not be disappointed.
The comedy is executed quite well. While whether something is funny depends purely on personal taste (pun intended), I think this movie balances gross-out humor, sight gags, witty banter, black comedy and plain-old "Number 2" jokes perfectly. One of the funniest bits is when Woody Harrelson's character rides a roller coaster while simultaneously wielding a shotgun and shoots zombies that follow him around the track. It was clever and a blast to watch. Think of your favorite comedy; Zombieland is probably not as funny as that, but it will definitely make you laugh. It's not the funniest movie ever, but it does an admirable job.
Other than that, I can't think of anything else to say. I have minor nitpicks, but most of them are standard horror clichés that didn't really take away from my enjoyment of the film itself. Do yourself a favor and check this one out, it's a great horror-comedy.
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Showing 1-9 of 9 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 5, 2010 11:42:38 PM PST
D. Morgan says:
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 10, 2010 3:48:01 PM PST
C. Krug says:
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 11, 2010 4:41:02 PM PST
Evan W. Jenkins says:
Hey! Hey! Calm down. I think what D. Morgan is saying is that modern CG is just as realistic looking (if not more so) then old-school practical effects and calling them crap is an affront to the people who work hard to create the illusions they afford.
And I think what C. Krug is saying is that Mr. Morgan needs to be less harsh when pointing our peoples' errors.
Posted on Mar 9, 2010 4:43:13 AM PST
G. Lawton says:
Evil Dead II? Could you maybe explain this further? I get that Evil Dead II is somewhat of a "horror comedy," but beyond that I don't see the comparison with Zombieland. I really liked Zombieland, and I love Evil Dead II, but I think the comparison is a bit misleading.
Posted on Mar 11, 2010 11:18:39 AM PST
Brian Weatherford says:
I don't need to leave a review because this pretty much sums it up.
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 12, 2010 5:37:24 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 12, 2010 5:38:36 PM PST
I compared it to Evil Dead II because it took what would normally be scary situations and put humorous spins on them. While not a true "splatter comedy" like Evil Dead II, a few scenes with gore are used for comedic purposes: "The first ones to go were the fatties" and "You got a purdy mouth...", etc. Hope that clears up what I was trying to convey.
And thanks Brian, I'm glad you enjoyed my review!
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 14, 2011 11:01:00 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 14, 2011 11:07:57 AM PDT
Did I say anywhere in my review that the film didn't have CGI? No, I said that "the make-up and special effects look fantastic" which last time I checked, CGI is a special effect. It was just used properly and didn't look like the usual "CGI crap" we are all used to seeing nowadays.
D. Morgan, next time read more carefully and think before posting comments.
Posted on Dec 20, 2013 3:19:32 AM PST
Nice review, Nick. You should check out the short, Zombo in the links to follow. You probably haven't heard of it, since it is low budget. However, if appreciate more than the stage that money brings, you should look into it. It is not my short and I don't stand to make anything off of it. Just sharing with zombie fans! http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2523108/ http://millquas.com/category/video-and-ta
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 30, 2014 11:57:38 AM PST
Thanks for the tip Lucican, I'll see if I can track down a copy.
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