Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Movie Review - Zombieland - 2009

Dear, sweet Pagan gods! You are great gods, and while not necessarily benevolent, have showered us in mana and goodness. Thank you. Thank you for bestowing upon us a mainstream zombie movie of such unequaled awesomeness!

This movie is the sort of zombie movie that I hope for everytime I rent a zombie movie, have one dropped off by Netflix, or catch a late night zombie-fest on SyFy or Chiller.

Namely, a zombie movie that has the right mix of horror, comedy, gore, and sheer badassedness.

Obviously, I LOVED this movie.

Woody Harrelson, who has been guilty of playing the same sort of character again and again, has found - in my opinion - the role he was made for. He has the perfect level of bravado, irreverence, humor, and pathos in this role. His character, Tallahasee, is the zombie killer we all want to be in our own secret zombie apocalypse fantasies (everybody else fantasizes about the Zombie Apocalypse, right? Everybody has their escape plan, right? I've always argued that the hardest part about the zombies rising up from the dead will be actually pretending that I'm not excited about it!) His irascibility knows no bounds, and he treats the zombie apocalypse like his own personal extended self-help session. He gleefully kills zombies with banjos, garden shears, car doors, and anything else he can get his hands on. And yet, offsetting this manic violence, there are moments where he makes you care for the character at an emotional level rarely seen in a horror film.

Jesse Eisenberg, who plays Columbus,is the perfect foil for Tallahasee... and is the perfect partner in what is one of the best zombie movie buddy team-ups since Shaun and Ed from Shaun of the Dead. His neurosis and OCD-based adherance to his "Zombieland Rules" is the perfect counterpoint to Harrelson. Eisenberg also inhabits the role of Columbus in a way that transcends the genre label of a horror movie. He's an incredible actor who manages to make us believe he is the shy, introverted, videogame playing dork his character is. He's a geek savant, and all geeks (myself included) can't help but root for him to get the girl and become the hero.

Emma Stone, who plays the conniving, scamming Wichita -watches over her sister Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) with a convincing mother-like devotion... and is hot to boot. Both girls did an incredible job and we fall in love with her just as Columbus does. Wichita is smart, sassy, sexy, and the exact girl you'd want to meet up with at the end of the world.

This movie was perfect on so many levels. It hit all the right notes. The gore was superb, the effects were kick ass, and the story was spot on. There's a cameo midway through that bumps this film from a simple, well executed zombie film to a film of almost unimagineable geeky/fan boy coolness. Especially cool are the intro shots showing zombie chasing down and devouring hapless victims.

This movie was great. I love this movie. Fuck The People vs. Larry Flint... Woody Harrelson deserves to get another Academy Award nomination, and subsequently win an Oscar because this is the best role he's ever done.

If you haven't seen this... GO! If you can't get someone to go with you, call Doctor Zombie. I'll fucking go again!



glittergirl said...

this might make up for the disaster that was halloween 2!

pchak said...

Gawd, I was hoping you would give it a great review. I've been stoked to see the movie based on the commercial alone. I think Woody is a putz, but, as you said, he looks as if he's in a role made for him (kinda like his role in 'Doc Hollywood').

Dr. Zombie said...

GG - TOTALLY makes up for the craptastic spectacle that as Zombie's H2. Believe me... you want to see this!

pchak - I agree with you... Woody's annoying at best. But he did such a damn good job in this film it's almost a wonder to watch. I am cynical enough, however, to wonder if maybe this was such a great role for him because it was - in fact - because he's not acting. (i.e., he's really this kind of DICK in real life).

Randal Graves said...

Yet another flick to see. Damn psycho flu (but not the swine as I am not dead enough to *not* type this comment) kept me and the sometimes-better-half from catching this yet. But if it's funny, has zombies and makes Woody not seem to be a yokel, then count me in.