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Review: Zombieland

Updated: Mar 30, 2022

Director: Ruben Fleischer

Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy

Release year: 2009

Runtime: 88 min

If you’re into zombie films, this will be a treat. Though snobby film critics beware; this film has no exceptional merit. The most formidable content is in the opening scene which is extremely showy and perhaps the comical climax.

Columbus (Jessy Eisenberg), the geeky, neurotic main character opens by giving us a few of his rules to which he accredits his survival. These rules include: always check the back seat of cars; be careful in bathrooms and always fasten your seatbelt. In this 21st century, post-apocalyptic world, it’s every man for himself. Trust issues are the staple diet and the characters are only known by the name of their hometown, thus Columbus. After leading an awkward life in Texas prior to the zombie apocalypse, Columbus decides to head back to Columbus in search of his family.

An unexpected run-in with fellow survivor, Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), leads the two characters to partner up as they head for their respective destinations. On their way they are bamboozled by the streetwise sisters, Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin), and hey presto – a bit of romance.

Zombie films are not known for their strong storylines and this film is no exception. While the comic power is present, there were a few corny moments. In addition, I couldn’t help but notice a few continuity errors like in the first scene when Columbus drops his keys while the zombies chase after him. He then decides to take them for another lap, but the camera reveals that there are no keys on the floor, before he approaches the keys have reappeared for him to pick up.

Besides all the petty stuff the film is jolly and entertaining. A proper American version of Shaun of the Dead, it doesn’t take itself too seriously. As always Woody Harrelson masters playing essentially himself, delivering one-liners by the minute. It’s not the film of the century, but it’s definitely fun to watch.

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