Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Zombieland (2009)

All it takes is a few simple rules to survive Zombieland, the world that has been left behind after a deadly virus turns most of the population in to flesh-eating monsters. At least that is how Columbus has managed to stay alive up until he teams with Tallahassee on the road home to find his parents. The two are taken hostage by a pair of crafty sisters along the way, who convince them to travel together to the Pacific Playland amusement park in Los Angeles, which is supposed to be a safe haven from zombies. Needless to say, they are in for a bumpy ride! What is perhaps the most irritating thing about ZOMBIELAND besides the annoying characters and directionless plot is the fact that there are hardly any zombies in it to begin with. Why travel cross-country on the chance that some mythical amusement park might be zombie-free when the group only encounters a few zombies in the first place? The survival rules would have been much funnier if they had not already been used years before in Max Brook's infinitely superior Zombie Survival Guide. Jesse Eisenberg proves that he is the poor man's Michael Cera by offering up another wimpy performance with worse comedic timing than ever. Emma Stone is just as bad, and can't be taken seriously in her role. Thankfully, Woody Harrelson comes along to provide us with some temporary relief as the Twinkie-starved Tallahassee, who takes a great deal of pleasure in dispensing pain. The climactic battle at Pacific Playland is short-lived, and hardly worth the wait when the excitement of fighting zombies at an amusement park is squandered on a few measly rides. With the exception of the film's one notable cameo, ZOMBIELAND is a laughless comedy with hardly any horror that is not nearly as clever or witty as it is commonly made out to be.

Rating: 6/10.

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15 comments:

  1. I did a short blog post about this movie around Halloween, I can't remember when. I absolutely hated it. It's kind of disturbing how much people here talked this film up. There's a reason Shaun of the Dead was as awesome as it was, Brits are good at that sort of humor and their accent and spoken English is part of what made it that film. I'm quite convinced that Americans don't really know how to do that kind of comedy well, at all. Our version of conversational English doesn't quite make it. It would be the same as us trying to make an American version of Monty Python. Worked for the Brits, would not work for us.

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  2. Its definitely all in the timing and delivery, and while there were funny "moments" in ZOMBIELAND, I would never call it a hilarious movie.

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  3. I actually loved this one. It does what some of the best zombie movies do: make the film about the survivors and not so much about the zombies. This worked wonders on 28 Days Later as well. Its more about the survival and who these people are.

    I thought it was pretty funny, and it turned into one of the best surprises of last year for me. Talahasee rules, Jesse Eisenberg is cool in my book.

    Bill Murray made things even cooler. Plus the zombie make up effects ruled.

    Surprised you didnt like it carl!

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  4. Believe me, I am surprised I didnt like it too! I found the girls to be annoying and Jesse just never does it for me, he feels very forced awkward whereas Michael Cera has a natural awkwardness in his delivery. The Bill Murray bit was a nice little surprise, but the only character I really enjoyed was Woody Harrelson's Tallahassee. Maybe the second watch through will yield more positive results?

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  5. Ok, skipped it. I do plan on seeing this one and don't want to know too much! :)

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  6. i saw this in the theatre and liked it sorta kinda i guess. it was funny and had a few "oh that was pretty cool" moments but then it also had a few "um ... what the F?" moments too. nothing too horrible but then nothing terribly great either. i liked it but didn't love it. maybe seeing it on dvd will change my mind. i dunno?

    i just thought it was okay but some people from their reviews made this movie seem like it was a home run grand slam can't miss comedy thrill ride. i thought it was just okay. the Murray stuff was funny. Woody played Woody but set at 11 this time. fine. but what i noticed right off the bat (that you touched on in your review too) was if they're the last 4 people on Earth where the F were all the zombies?

    also they break into the amusement park. hooray for them. lock the gate you dummies. it would have taken them like 2 seconds.

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  7. 100% agreed on all points WIEC, I felt the same way the entire film. But that last point had me laughing, I was thinking the exact same thing, but apparently they felt that the site had some sort of mythical quality that was driving the zombies away or something..

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  8. Agree on the closing the gates thing! My favorite part of the film (beside the Bill Murray pit stop) was when they finally reach the park.

    Suddenly all the zombies that were nowhere to be seen during the rest of the film appear! Loved all the gags with the amusement park rides, fun stuff!

    There is an amusement park ride zombie scene as well in the italian zombie movie Nightmare City, ever seen that one Carl? I saw that scene and immediately thought of Zombieland.

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  9. I actually had the reverse recognition since I had seen NIGHTMARE CITY first, and thought of NIGHTMARE CITY as soon as Tallahassee jumped on the coaster =D

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  10. I loved Zombieland, found it hilarious and thought it looked great.
    Also, don't a lot of the zombies climb over fences etc to get into the park? And didn't they break the chains when they drove in?

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  11. Yes and yes, they definitely broke the chains but I am pretty sure they climbed over regardless

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  12. I thought this was a funny movie. I agree, it did seem to lack zombies, and could have used some more killing. The scene with Bill Murray was hilarious and worth the price of admission itself. It is just one of those comedies that you either enjoy the jokes or just think they are stupid. I enjoyed it.

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  13. There were many clever moments that I did find funny, the film certainly isnt without its moments, but I guess when people were comparing it to SHAUN OF THE DEAD I expected much more out of it. As hard as I tried to avoid reviews, I think the hype got to me.

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  14. I completely agree with everything you said. Your complaints are my complaints: Not enough freakin' zombies. It's more of a comedy, than a horror film, which doesn't make it bad, it just doesn't make it out to be the great zombie movie everyone has cracked it up to be. I had fun. I laughed. However, it was still just an "okay" film following a zombie fad in Hollywood trendiness.

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  15. I liked it. Thought it was fun. Saving most of the zombie action let them build characters up, and saves the big showdown from being just more zombies.

    Of course, they broke the big rule of zombie films; everyone survived (well, except Bill Murray)

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