Zombieland (R16)

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Review byMatthew Turner7/10/2009

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 82 minutes

Hugely enjoyable, impressively directed and frequently hilarious zombie comedy with a sharply written script and terrific performances from its perfectly cast leads.

What's it all about?
Directed by Ruben Fleischer, Zombieland stars Adventureland's Jesse Eisenberg as a nerdy, ultra-neurotic survivor of a plague that's turned most of America into brain-hungry zombies. So far, he's survived thanks to a fiercely-adhered-to set of self-imposed rules, such as Cardio, Seatbelts and Double Tap (meaning, essentially, always put one in the brain).

Things change for the better when he teams up with badass zombie-hunter Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), who nicknames him Columbus (because real names make it harder to kill you if you turn into a zombie) and decides to let him tag along on his quest to find the last Twinkie in America. However, after being initially swindled by scamming sisters Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin), they eventually form a reluctant alliance and head for a supposedly zombie-free theme park in California.

The Good
Written by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick (who have clearly seen Shaun of the Dead more times than can be considered healthy), Zombieland is packed with hilarious gags from start to finish, from witty, quotable one-liners to brilliant visual gags (Eisenberg pretending to drink whisky) and enjoyable set-pieces. In addition, Fleischer's inventive direction keeps things moving at a decent pace and injects a genuine sense of anarchic fun, particularly during the scene where they let off steam by smashing up a gift shop (in slow motion).

The casting is utterly perfect; Harrelson is terrific as the brain-splatting, junk food-craving Tallahassee and Eisenberg's nerdy, Woody Allen-esque persona provides the perfect comic counterpoint. Stone and Breslin are equally good, though Breslin is arguably a little under-used.

The Great
However, the undoubted highlight is a gloriously funny, wonderfully self-referential cameo by a certain comedy legend, playing himself; if you can somehow see the film before anyone spoils the details for you, then you're in for a real treat.

Worth seeing?
In short, Zombieland is a genuinely hilarious comedy with a brilliantly funny script and terrific comic performances from its four leads. Highly recommended.

Film Trailer

Zombieland (R16)
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Content updated: 12/11/2019 09:37

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