| October 6, 2009

by Clint Fletcher
I’ve spent the past six months wondering to myself if I’ll ever have a better time at the movies this year than J.J. Abrams’s Star Trek. That was the first (and only flick) in 2009 that I granted the coveted A+ to. I was beginning to lose hope that another movie won’t reach that grade until next year. I’m happy to say the wait is over.
Zombieland was the most fun I’ve had at the movies since The Dark Knight.
I won’t waste much time in plot, seeing as how you can figure it all out from the title- zombies have taken over the world and humans are now extinct. That’s it. We see this plot at least twice a year, but this time the filmmakers decided to take the funny route instead of going serious for the zillionth time. And by God did it pay off. Woody Harrelson fans, take note. This is his ultimate comeback movie. And for those of you who didn’t think he needed a comeback movie, take a quick look at his resume for the past decade- After The Sunset, Anger Management, Surfer Dude, North Country and She Hate Me (just to name a few). And those are the only ones you’ve heard of. Aside from an awesome cameo in No Country For Old Men, he’s made absolute shit since 1996 with the Kingpin/People vs. Larry Flint double tap (movie pun intended). Anyway, pretty much every line the dude says in Zombieland is pure gold and easily quotable for the next 50 years. He’s my favorite kind of badass- a natural one for no damn reason. But Woody is just the tip of the ice berg on why Zombieland rocks.
In the casting department, there’s a little something for everyone. There’s the badass redneck (Woody), the adolescent pussy teenager (Jesse Eisenberg), the smoking hot girl (Emma Stone) and the adorable 12 year-old (Abigail Breslin). Hell, they even throw and old lady in there to win the “zombie kill of the week” award. I think all the demographics are covered, don’t you? Eisenberg’s character narrates, and does a fantastic job at playing pathetic. Though I still kind of see him as a poor man’s Michael Cera because the similarities are uncanny. And Emma Stone is just cute as a button. Nice to see she’s getting roles in flicks like this after the Superbad success. And Bill Murray pops in for the funniest celebrity cameo in the history of film. EVER. But what raises Zombieland above and beyond other zombie flicks is the writing.
I don’t know where the hell screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick came from, but I hope a studio signs them for a nice, fat comedy deal. I’ve seen this type of clever narration before, but never in a horror picture. Within the first five minutes they immediately establish the tone and let’s the audience know right away that they’re not taking shit too seriously. Since zombie movies tend to be silly anyway, this is the best route to take. I loved the rules for surviving Zombieland and the recurring gags, such as Woody searching desperately for the perfect twinkie.
I would give more examples of why this flick was a blast, but it would honestly be kind of spoilery. But here’s hoping we get a Zombieworld and Zombieverse over the next few years. As long as Woody and Eisenberg are back, I’m on board. Fuck it, I’d be on board with a whole new cast. This movie fully fed the geek within!
Grade: A+

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