Zombieland: This Place is So Dead (2009)

Posted: April 27, 2011 in Action, Adventure, Comedy

Everyone’s worst fear has come true. Survival is the way of life with zombies overrunning the world. Columbus survives attack after attack because he uses his own set of rules to maintain the advantage. He avoids public bathrooms, checks the back seat and does not forget to double-tap each zombie. As he is continually on the run, he finds himself alone until he bumps into a gun-toting, pig-headed zombie hater named Tallahassee. Though they are initially successful, a run-in with two girls fighting for their own survival causes them to veer off-track and yet seemed drawn toward these new survivors and friends. They continue their journey, finding themselves in Hollywood, but cannot ever seem to shake the zombie attack.

Starring: Jesse Eisenberg (Columbus), Woody Harrelson (Tallahassee), Emma Stone (Wichita), Abigail Breslin (Little Rock), Amber Heard (406), Bill Murray (himself)

The film focuses on only four significant characters. Jesse Eisenberg is Columbus, the safety-focused survivor struggling to find a connection. His performance has a similar shortness to his role in The Social Network but with less arrogance. Eisenberg is joined by veteran actor Woody Harrelson. As the wild man of the group, Harrelson has a reckless personality similar to Natural Born Killers but with a number of strange perks (most significant of which is his extreme love of Twinkies). Emma Stone has been building recognition over the past few years, with most of that recognition coming through comedic roles. This film has her mixing in a bit of action and trickery as she fights for survival through a number of creative ways. Playing the smart-talking Little Rock, Abigail Breslin has developed a very successful young career through a number of strong supporting roles. Zombieland can simply be added to the list of indie, quirky and popular films such as Little Miss Sunshine and My Sister’s Keeper.

Ruben Fleischer’s zombie comedy takes a different spin to the series of horror films with the living dead. The film involves one significant theme: survival. Each of the four main characters struggles with finding something to shot for to continue fighting to live. Tallahassee’s odd focal point is simple, as Twinkies bring him tremendous joy. For Little Rock and Wichita, they have each other for support. For Columbus, his initial lack of focus seemed like a simple basic human need to fight to survive but it later is discovered that he also has a basic human need for connection. In the end, all but the Twinkies merge together for each of the characters to find that they have basically become a family. Tossing in a cameo by Bill Murray just adds to the fun of the film.

This movie is fun, exciting and clever with the development of rules for survival.

Dan’s Rating: 4.0/5


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