Saturday, 21 April 2012

Zombieland (2009)

Let's be honest, a film like this was never going to win any oscars or elbow its way onto any credible list of classics. But who watches a zombie film for that stuff anyway? I watch zombie films for a small cast doing a lot of violent killing in a variety of unusual and comedic ways, and Zombieland delivers on all cylinders.

It's kind of refreshing for the zombie genre (I think with the saturation level we're at, it counts as a genre) in a slight way. We've had the definitive zomcom in Shaun of the Dead, but even then it was a little satirical and subtle in some respects. It had a very British take on it. Zombieland though, Zombieland sticks two fingers up to that approach and shoots it with an uzi from a merry-go-round. Banjo kills, cutaways to "Zombie Kill of the Week", sh*tting-your-pants gags and montages of road journeys where everyone bickers over how the twelve year old should learn to drive the Hummer: all part of the fun. Not to mention that there's a lot less brown and grey going on than the pure-horror zombie movies. I don't care if technically all the power grids would be down and ash and dirt would be everywhere, it's a lot more visually interesting, and in-keeping with the tone of this film, to have a sunshine yellow hummer and a (near) fully stocked and lit grocery store for the cast to f*ck around in. It's like Dead Rising made into a film, but not as sh*t as that sounds. The little motif with the rules poping up on screen was nice too, and would've been easy to overdo but it was balanced well I think.

Speaking of the cast, not exactly outstanding but a great laugh nonetheless. Harrelson plays a great brain-to-off-mode action hero, with an actually quite convincing soft side when it comes the inevitable teary moment. Eisenberg is pretty much the "socially maladjusted but actually a really nice guy" that he's pretty good at now (as he should be). Emma Stone would be pretty forgettable to be honest, if she wasn't so hot (as is Amber Heard in the bit part she has near the beginning). It's not that she's bad, but the character's pretty flat and uninteresting. It was really nice to see Bill Murray's cameo (spoilered because I know I would've liked to have gone in to it not knowing), and Tallahassee's reaction to meeting him put a big smile on my face.

All in all, great fun. It doesn't bring anything new to the table, but that's not really been a problem for pop culture and zombies recently has it? There are certainly worse ways to spend an hour and a half.

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