Rating – ***1/2


In some alternate universe where Shaun of the Dead never existed, Zombieland would be unanimously hailed as a groundbreaking comedic gem. However, in our world Edgar Wright’s aforementioned modern classic (and I’m prepared to say masterpiece) certainly does exist. In the five years since its release Shaun has inspired a wave of imitators, just as relentless (and sometimes brain-dead) as an actual zombie horde. But does any of this matter? Instead should a film be judged in a vacuum purely on its own merit? If I take this approach with Zombieland… it’s actually pretty damn good!

Unlike Shaun, where the zombies represented the mindless consumerism of our X Factor/Crazy Frog ringtone steeped culture, this isn’t actually a true zombie film in the grand tradition of Romero. Instead it’s a parody of the whole concept of a zombie apocalypse. Yet, this inconvenient situation is quickly dismissed as mere background information. The protagonists are far more concerned with impressing hot gun-toting girls and finding robust spongy snacks. The whole cast are on top form. Once you get past the unnerving similarity between Jesse Eisenberg and Michael Cera (Juno, Superbad) he makes a good unconventional hero. Speaking of Superbad, the stunning Emma Stone officially joins the illustrious ranks of my personal leader board. She’s in fine company with Michelle Monaghan, Natalie Portman, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead… hopefully they’ll all have a pillow fight party or something… Anyway, back to Zombieland. Woody Harrelson is great as a trigger happy redneck with a fetish for decapitating zombies. It’s the subtle character moments which truly shine. He highlights the merits of Willie Nelson to Abigail Breslin, but she only cares about Hannah Montana.


The makers of this film don’t hide their simple motivation. One day somebody decided it would be funny to watch a group of zombies ambush a cowboy on a rollercoaster as he takes them out with a shotgun. That’s cool with me, it’s bloody funny! Viewed as a closing chapter to the new wave of zom-coms, Zombieland is second only to Shaun. It won’t change your life and you’ll have seen most of it before, but you will laugh a lot. Perhaps I’m not giving it enough credit, there are plenty of fresh and unexpected laughs along the way. A certain celebrity cameo adds a new dimension, and it pays off big time. I won’t reveal their identity; you’ll have to take your own trip to Zombieland too. Have fun!



~ by thewholebuffalo on October 25, 2009.

One Response to “Zombieland”

  1. Really dissapointed with this film. I wanted it to be great. I even dreamt the film in my head before I watched it so I guess it didn’t have a chance. After the amazing opening slow mo death sequence its concept was in place but the Americans always manage to do it so wrong. Shawn Of The Dead this aint! ***

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