Place Is So Dead
Director: Ruben Fleischer
Cast: Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma
Stone, Abigail Breslin
RunTime: 1 hr 28 mins
Released By: Columbia TriStar
Official Website: http://www.zombieland.com/
Opening Day: 3 December 2009
Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) has made a habit of running from
what scares him. Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) doesn't have
fears. If he did, he'd kick their ever-living ass. In a world
overrun by zombies, these two are perfectly evolved survivors.
But now, they're about to stare down the most terrifying prospect
of all: each other.
Zombies have always been a popular fixture in the horror genre. Just imagine being cornered by mindless reanimated undead creatures that are out to eat human flesh and you can imagine the amount of fright tension drama that could be generated from such situations. It can be played out in an enclosed area like a laboratory building (i.e. Resident Evil) or an apocalypse scenario where by almost everyone had been inflected (saved for the last few survivors around) (i.e. Land of the Dead). It could be serious drama about survival choices (i.e. 28 days later) or played out like a comedy spoof (i.e. Shaun of the Dead). In shorts, it’s been covered in most possible angles.
What Zombieland brings is the mixture of a loner guy, Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg)’s comedic 101 survival guide in the zombie apocalypse scenario. It starts with the fancy rules of survival wordings (in the similar fashion as the special subtitles in Night Watch & Day Watch) that “interact” with casts and actions that are going on screen. It pops out as and when to remind us that a certain rule has been utilized. It’s an entertaining distraction that helps define the movie and kept the movie going in a breezy pace.
Like many of the other zombie movies, the protagonist had to travel from one point to another in search of love ones or salvation. Zombieland used the same premise and soon, Columbus encounters various interesting individuals such as the tough nut Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), the scheming sisters Wichita (Emma Stone) & Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) and a very special cameo by a “mega” Hollywood star (playing himself). The mixture of these various characters helped the protagonist onto a path of self discovery and gave him a chance at romance which wouldn’t have happen if everyone didn’t not turned into zombies.
Arguably, Woody Harrelson stole the limelight as the tough zombie killing partner that has an unhealthy craving for a Twinkie (as a comfort food) and an unexpected soft side to his tough exterior. His wild cowboy mannerism is pretty entertaining and engaging to watch.
Another highlight of the show would definitely be the unexpected appearance of a certain Hollywood comedian. It came to me so unexpectedly that I am not going to spoil it by revealing who that comedian was. But it’s safe to say that his brand of comedy still goes straight to my funny bones and his delivery of his greatest regret is the pinnacle of this comedic zombie film.
If there’s any let down, it would be how the finale was created. It felt that in order to create an ending climax, the characters were dumb down from their usual zombie awareness so that they can play out the damsel in distress and shoot’em up scenario. It just felt like an easy way out to allow these characters to let their guard down so conveniently for the “grand” finale which wasn’t that awesome as it could have been.
Zombieland which sound like a word play from the various theme parks (such as adventureland and tomorrowland ), plays out like a rollercoaster ride, haunted mansion and love tunnel ride. You get thrills from the sudden adrenaline rush, the spooks and even some tender moments in this movie. There’s even some funny clowning moments in Zombieland (provided by the witty dialogues and very special guest appearance). But like any amusement rides, the more you ride on it, the less fun it becomes and the caricatures becomes more and more one dimension. It’s definitely worth the ticket price but revisits might not be anytime soon.
(Zombieland is definitely worth the ticket price but revisits might not be anytime soon)
Review by Richard Lim Jr