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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Darkmatters Review: Zombieland

Zombieland (15)

Dir. Ruben Fleischer

Reviewed by Matt Adcock


Welcome to Zombieland – a near future USA where pretty much everyone has been turned into crazed flesh eating zombies by a strange ‘mad cow derivative’ virus. There are a few souls who did not succumb to zombiedom but these unfortunates now find themselves on the menu and in need of a strict list of rules if they are to survive.

Average Joe college boy Columbus (Jesse ‘The Squid and the Whale’ Eisenberg) is ahead of the game having already compiled his list, the highlights of which are:

#1: Cardio – be sure you can outrun zombies!
#2: Beware of Bathrooms – don’t get eaten with your trousers down.
#3: Seatbelts – if you have to crash you car to shake off zombies, be prepared.
#4: Double Tap – make sure every zombie you put down is dead – that extra shot to the head helps!
and my favourite:
#32 Enjoy the little things – like Twinkies before their best before date…

"are you getting the subliminal message about nuts?"

Right from the effectively grisly opening credit montage of zombie attacks set to Metallica's "For Whom the Bell Tolls" this is a US rom-zom-com which comes across like a spiritual big budget follow up to Shawn of the Dead. And just like Shawn, here we have witty dialogue backed up with a likeable cast whose well being you’ll actually care about. This is a rare immediate cult classic that delivers on every level.

Zombieland goes hard for the action vein thanks to Woody Harrelson as wanton zombie slayer ‘Tallahassee’ who gets to wield an impressive number of weapons while trying to track down a Twinkie. The violence is well balanced with some fantastic comedy moments – including the year’s best cameo from one of the Ghostbusters. Director Fleischer doesn’t try to do anything other than entertain; throwing in audacious set pieces that had the audience I caught this with cheering out loud. One such scene has super hot babe of the moment Amber Heard seeking refuge from our nerdy hero Columbus’s arms – only to transform into the best looking zombie you’re likely to see and try and eat him.

"don't let her go down on you!"

The romantic interest comes in the shapely form of Emma Stone’s Wichita, a sassy scam artist who is looking out for her little sister ‘Little Rock’ (Abigail ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ Breslin). So can Columbus ‘nut up’ and get the girl in the face of this zombie apocalypse? You’ll have a riot finding out – Zombieland is highly recommended nonsense, bring on a sequel!

Out of a possible 5 you have to go with:

Darkmatters final rating of: öööö (4 - nut up or shut up... this rocks hard!

Darkmatters quick reference guide:

Action 5 (top notch!)

Style 3 (Like a classy zombie graphic novel come to life)

Babes 4 (Amber Heard + Emma Stone are great!)

Comedy 4 (very funny - Bill Murray especially)

Horror 4 (some satisfyingly grim mutilations)

Spiritual Enlightenment 3 (everyone should have a code of rules to live by)

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