Top critical review
Should have seen it earlier -- might have liked it a little more
on May 6, 2016
I feel like I came to this a little late. I was never crazy about zombie movies, and now not so much about Jesse Eisenberg although his performances in THE SOCIAL NETWORK and THE DOUBLE were incredible. Sadly, although peppered with enough humor to keep me interested, the thin story left a lot to be desired. The basic plot is "zombie apocalypse...yada yada...a group of people has to survive." Whatever. What else would you in that situation? What I didn't like was how aimless the narrative was. There were a number of laugh-out-loud moments, most courtesy of Woody Harrelson, but they felt strung together in an episodic fashion. The only time where the narrative felt cohesive and "about something" was the climactic battle in an amusement park. And even then, it just felt like a concentrated version of the crazy stuff we'd been getting in more measured doses up until that point. The film is also surprisingly short on zombie action until that sequence. The only detour that felt "worth it" was a visit to a certain celebrity's house (even now, I won't spoil it for those who may not have seen the film yet). Even though the sequence was just an excuse for an extended cameo, it was funny enough that I didn't care. When it comes down to it, even though ZOMBIELAND is fairly short at 85 minutes, there was still the palpable feeling of being padded and occasionally directionless, despite the gonzo, post-modern approach to the genre.