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Zombieland (2009)

An American post-apocalyptic zombie comedy movie directed by Ruben Fleischer

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If you want to combine three themes in one film, make sure to keep track of all three

  • Feb 27, 2011
Rating:
+2

I managed to catch Zombieland the other day (last week in fact) and, despite the box office receipts and despite my personal reluctance to post yet another pan

1. Zombieland is one of those "seen the trailer, seen it all" flicks. In other words, once you've laughed and enjoyed the mayhem of the trailer and then said "I'd like to see that", don't bother.

2. The promotional campaign for this film is probably mostly at fault. Trailers and ads give you the impression that the film is supposed to be a comedic send up of the genre. Unfortunately, it only tries to be that, but isn't.

Given the name and the focus on the theme park in the trailers, I got the distinct impression that the story was something along the lines of: Zombie Virus causes civilization to fall. Survivors are a bit wacky. One or a group of them open up a theme park where the main attraction is offing zombies in interesting and creative ways and somewhere along the line conflict enters with a quest to name/win the coveted title of Best Zombie Killer of the Year.

Now I understand that this is my personal impression from the trailers (online and in the theater), but I think it is a justified one given the tag lines and cut scenes that were chosen for that trailer.

What we got was a pastiche of what was probably three different original scripts: a pure (comedic) zombie survival flick featuring a nerd who, despite his physical limitations and phobias about everything, has managed to survive and is writing a survival guide; the zombie theme park flick I outlined above and a chase/three way romance/zombie rogues screwing each other over comedy somewhat like Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, but with zombies instead of scams.

Mashed and mixed together, we end up with a film that starts to go in three different directions (promisingly) and then sputters out as it can't seem to find its true focus amongst any of the themes.

I was really looking forward to several silly rounds of one-upsmanship between Harrelson's 'I was born to be a zombie killer' character and the nerd's 'I survive because I'm full of phobias' character, but we got none of that.

The women never developed either and, in a very strange twist, despite the fact that they were always managing to put one over on the boys, they were the ones that had to be rescued in the end.

In summation: nice idea, poorly handled. A lot of creative energy went into different ways to kill zombies that should have gone into writing a tighter script.

I'm still very enamored of my original impression: Zombieland the theme park, with awards to Killer of the Month.

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More Zombieland reviews
review by . October 31, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Ah, the good old zombie apocalypse. That great fantasy scenario which allows people to envision going on destructive, murderous rampages while still emerging as the good guy.     Zombieland forgoes the regular rote of showing the apocalypse itself or even giving us a backstory to pin to it. All we know is that we are suddenly given this character, Columbus, who is running away from his life as a student at the University of Texas. We first see him in Garland picking up fuel ("You …
review by . December 24, 2010
I would hardly consider myself an expert on the zombie genre because I haven't seen many zombie films, but I can safely say that Zombieland is the highest grossing zombie film of all time for a reason. One of the great things about it is that it doesn't take itself all that seriously. It's a comedy first and a horror film second. I've never even been a fan of post-apocalyptic films and I still like this movie, because it doesn't treat itself as a post-apocalyptic film. The only …
review by . October 02, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
Zombie Heaven
I can't believe the hate this flick is getting, for me it was zombie comedy heaven all wrapped up in a nice new package. We've seen zombies presented in all sorts of ways before but generally we get them in the same old unimaginative way; people get trapped in a house or other edifice and try to fight them off. Yeah. I saw that back in the 1960s and I've been ready for something else for a long time now so I appreciate any new twist to the formula no matter how slight. The twist here is …
review by . October 03, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
poster
     Zombies have become such a great delicacy in the horror genre; they have become almost as malleable and adaptive as the vampire when it comes to genre mixing. We’ve seen them in horror, action, comedy and even video games. One would argue that the current winner of the zombie comedy crown is either “Shaun of the Dead” or “Fido”. Director Ruben Fleischer isn’t seeking to reinvent the zombie-comedy-splatter fest with “ZOMBIELAND” …
review by . June 24, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Preposterous Blockbuster Zombie Flick
Don't get me wrong. I don't mind a horror comedy. In fact, some of them are relatively good in that annoyingly yet infectious way which usually spells out "instant cult classic" to most moviegoers. Biozombie perhaps would be the best example of a zomedy film that actually doesn't suck & pre-dates Shaun Of The Dead. I had relatively high hopes for Zombieland initially.      Surprisingly, the opening scenes of Zombieland sold me although I can't say …
Quick Tip by . January 03, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
I find zombie movies as funny as I find vampire movies overdone/overhyped. I got to a point where I was laughing out loud but had run out of sound long before the movie was over.
review by . March 17, 2010
I Liked the Edited Version of Zombieland
If I had actually watched the entire movie, my rating would surely be negative. But since I watched the movie with a friend kind enough to cover my eyes every time some gory attack or dismembering or blood spurting occurred, I moderately enjoyed the movie. In fact, as far as I know, one out of every four scenes was the back of someone's hand.      Between the scenes of the undead creating more carnage, there were some genuinely clever and entertaining moments. …
review by . October 07, 2009
When I first heard of Zombieland and saw the previews my first reaction is... "I'm not sure if I want to see this."  And then a friend of mine saw it and said, "It's like Shaun of the Dead."  This brings me to my first confession.  I am one of about twelve people in the world who actually didn't like Shaun of the Dead.  There was nothing wrong with it, per se, I just didn't like it much.  So I started thinking, "I'm probably going …
review by . October 06, 2009
 Step right up, folks! Don’t miss your opportunity to visit the one and only Zombieland! See! the amazing traveling zombie-killers Tallahassee and Columbus! Witness! the beguiling sibling con artists, Wichita and Little Rock! Marvel! at the last famous person on Earth, Bill Murray! Watch! in horror as the undead walk and ooze assorted unidentifiable bodily fluids…       In the near future, a virus will sweep the world, turning almost everyone into …
Quick Tip by . December 09, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Zombieland is as funny as Shaun of the Dead and as gory (but not as ridiculous) as the Dead Rising series! Plus the story is quite well-rounded.
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Wiki

"

Filmed entirely in the state of Georgia.

If there's been a zombie apocalypse and you're road-tripping alone though the wasteland, you could do worse than run into Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), a bourbon-swilling bad-boy butt-kicker with a really cool car. This is where the careful hero ofZombieland, a kid nicknamed Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), finds himself early in the film, and you can hardly blame him for hitching a ride with this swaggering Alpha Male. Still, they have their hands full not only with gibbering zombies but also with two sisters (Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin) who will stop at nothing to reach a Disneyland-like amusement park in L.A. AlthoughZombielandgets off to a rocky start with Columbus's overly-cute narration (he's got a list of rules for surviving in the zombie world), it settles into an amusing comedy, regularly interrupted by bouts of blood-letting. The road-trip stuff is enough fun that when the movie does arrive at its version of Disneyland, the air goes out of it a little; sure, there's a giant zombie blowout, with entrails flying, but it's not quite the same. Director Ruben Fleischer keeps the gags coming, although the movie is often funnier in its odd little asides (both Eisenberg and Harrelson are expert at this) than in its official jokes. Comic high point: an interlude at the home of a very famous movie star, who plays himself--and we'll leave the spoiler unspoiled, in case anybody hasn't heard about...
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Details

Director: Ruben Fleischer
Genre: Comedy
Release Date: October 2, 2009
MPAA Rating: R
Runtime: 80 minutes
Studio: Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures
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