Unsolicited Zombieland Review


These people are dressed rather stylishly for an apocalypse.

Zombieland
Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, Abigail Breslin
Directed by Ruben Fleischer
2009

If Zombieland wasn’t a comedy, I feel like there’d be a serious debate about Jesse Eisenberg’s narration throughout the film. More often than not, Jesse’s internal monologue is distracting and superfluous. It almost takes you out of the movie in some places. This is the kind of thing that pitted father against son when they did it in Blade Runner, but hey, we’re smashing zombies in the face with banjos and hunting for Twinkies here, so who gives a pigeon’s taint? It’s Woody Harrelson, not Harrison Ford.

Another thing about Jesse Eisenberg—while it might not be fair to label him the poor man’s Michael Cera, it’s clear those two went to the same acting school (the Dustin Hoffman Academy Of Comic Introversion And Awkwardness?). I think Eisenberg has slightly more range, not to mention dignity. You don’t see Jess “ironically” hanging out with reality TV stars or faking his own on-set blow-up videos. On the other hand, Cera’s got “Arrested Development” under his belt, so he can get away with a certain amount of bullshit. That’s one of those “lifetime pass” shows. What’s Eisenberg got? No “Arrested Development,” that’s for sure. Maybe he’s intentionally playing it safe until he lands his George Michael role.

The plot of Zombieland is as follows: the undead apocalypse is underway thanks to a rampant case of mad cow disease. Jesse Eisenberg is the lone geek of said apocalypse until he runs into low-rent bad ass Woody Harrelson. The two bond while cruising the barren American wasteland until a couple of spunky chicks show up and throw a few wrenches into their still-burgeoning plans. The whole time, zombies are prevalent, and our heroes use everything but the kitchen sink to thwart them. Eventually the four make it out to Los Angeles to visit a fictional amusement park, where Woody goes on a pretty incredible zombie killing spree amidst cotton candy and bumper cars.

Kinda lean, but there’s enough yuks, suspense, and action along the way to justify this movie’s existence. Plus, the soundtrack is pretty killer. Metallica, Van Halen—these are the bands one would need in order to get significantly pumped for zombie killin’. David Sardy does a pretty good job with the original music, too. Whoda thunk it? All those years dicking around in Barkmarket finally paid off for ol’ David. That guy’s all over movie music these days.

FINAL SCORE: Three Dale Earnhardt jokes (out of four).

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