Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Zombieland (of the Dead?)

Zombieland - (3 1/2 Stars)

Zombies are an acquired taste. But, like a popular meal, they can be "prepared" in different ways to suit different tastes. There are your "Zombie Lite" movies which appeal more to a wider audience, but in doing so take liberties with the zombie rules, and then there are the zombie movies that adhere more closely to zombie canon for the purists like myself. Zombieland is of the former category. The movie offers an enjoyable introduction to zombies that can serve as a "gateway" to the more established zombie movies.

Zombieland follows a group of four misfit survivors to a plague that has wiped out most of mankind and turned them into zombies. Going by location names so they aren't too attached to each other, the group faces the zombie horde, and each other, with shotguns in hand. Among the group are Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), who's fear of everything helped keep him alive, and his exact opposite Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson).

With vampires taking center stage in current popular media, it only makes sense that someone would try to resurrect another favorite "monster" of the horror genre and make a movie that appeals to a wider audience. Zombieland is that movie. It is a horror-comedy that doesn't take itself too seriously and just wants you to enjoy the ride along with its cast of characters. The movie has its share of comedic moments (and one hilarious cameo) to keep the momentum going back and forth between horror and comedy, but if you are a zombie purist, this is not the zombie movie for you. Instead of the shambling, corpse-like zombies of Romero fare you have the quicker, "pop culture" brand of zombie. To make a long review short, Zombieland is a movie that is enjoyable as long as you don't mind the bits of flesh and blood flying around and tongue in and out of cheek humor. As a horror-comedy it's definitely worth a watch, but for those who like their zombies shuffling and stumbling it won't quite have the decaying legs to stand up to some of the more definitive in the genre. (Netflix)

(88 Minutes - Rated R for Horror violence/gore and language)

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