From the Editor

Movie Review Archive

Thank you for checking out my movie review archive. I'm in the process of transitioning to something else, so I will no longer post new reviews to this blog. In the meantime, I will keep these reviews archived; these are from the fall of 2008 to April 2011. Please watch this blog for more info and keep in touch (you can still find me on Facebook and Twitter). Here's to more great movies!

Wes Singleton

North Texas Film Critics Association

Friday, October 2, 2009

Zombieland - B

Rated R for horror violence/gore and language, 80 minutes

“Zombieland” a good, bloody road trip

If you enjoy road trips and lots of zombies, then “Zombieland” is an entertaining, funny and graphically bloody thrill ride. The dark comedy isn’t for, uh, everyone’s taste’s and the diseased zombies here are truly scary, gnarly and enjoy running in the vein of the “28 Days” ones. Well-cast, inventive but thinly plotted and one-note, the unrevealing story doesn’t go in any new places, but one thing is for sure: you’ll jump and laugh plenty.

“Zombieland” takes place in a diseased zombie-filled land where a mysterious virus has overrun the United States, turning the vast majority of the population into the undead. There are a handful of survivors left, looking for areas untouched by the undead. Their hope is a bleak one, except for a few humans who’ve named themselves for their destination. There’s Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), a young nerdy college student who’s managed to survive through his own fear and a list of key “survival rules” that will help you to instinctively outwit the undead.

Then there’s Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), an AK-toting, zombie-slaying' bad ass whose single determination is to get the last Twinkie on earth. They join forces with Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin), who have also found unique ways to survive the zombie mayhem, they will have to determine which is worse: relying on each other or succumbing to the zombies.

“Zombieland” is a colorful adventure that’s a new twist in the zombie genre: road trip. The premise works well though it’s thinly drawn and doesn’t have many new places to go, but it’s fun getting to this unique destination. Directed by Ruben Fleischer in his first modestly budgeted feature film, it’s often a dark, bleak world but then with the land overrun by zombies, what do you expect.

For a zombie feature to be memorable, it’s a requirement the zombies must be pretty frightful, and scary indeed they are, the most vivid part of “Zombieland.” Diseased, ugly, bloody and very athletic, they come at you with a forceful speed ready to chomp in a second. Without them, the film wouldn’t amount to much, but it also helps the film is well-cast and who have great chemistry.

As the few normal humans left in “Zombieland,” Eisenberg, Harrelson, Stone and Breslin all have some amusing moments, particularly Harrelson, who thoroughly enjoys blowing away the zombies with zest, who is a good balance to the nebbish, nervous Eisenberg, who’s still managed to survive with smart instincts. Watch for a delicious, surprising cameo from a veteran comic actor playing himself.

The theme of "Zombieland" is fairly simple. Ride some. Talk some. Stop and blow away some zombies. Drive some more. Talk some more. Kill more zombies. The ending doesn't surprise but may leave some with a thirst for more. "Zombieland" isn't a perfect film, but a fun, entertaining one. Sit back and enjoy your ride through "Zombieland," just load up on lots of twinkies and weapons.