The producers of Zombieland were very pleased with the reception the film got in theaters. The problem they had was the amazingly strong reception the movie got on Bit Torrent. I’m going to ignore that second fact by noting that I plan on purchasing the DVD when it’s available on Amazon, so we’ll ignore exactly how I came across a copy for my return flight from Houston on Sunday.
This movie is fun. It’s no high art, but it has many of the elements that have made teen or buddy comedies a success and installed them in a quick and clever zombie genre adaptation.
The film succeeds mostly on the back of its excellent cast, the male half of which is amazingly typecast. Woody Harrelson plays zombie-killing bad-ass Tallahassee. He is pretty much drawn as a mix of his Mickey Knox from Natural Born Killers and Roy Munson from Kingpin. And it plays amazingly well. In a reflective scene, when asked by Columbus if he’s one of those guys who listens to a story and automatically has to one up it with one of his own, he says, “No, but I know a guy just like that.”
As Columbus, the sidekick, Jesse Eisenberg plays his patented neurotic, but oddly identifiable teen (think Michael Cera with less awkward quirks and more psychologist bills). He rocks this role out far more effectively than he did playing the exact same character in Adventureland. He’s a witty, believable if ironic survivor who serves also as the narrator of the movie.
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