This evening I was lucky enough to get to see a preview screening for Zombieland. The movie stars Woody Harrelson and Jesse Eisenberg who are both living in a land where every other human being has turned into a Zombie…. at least that’s what they thought until they stumble across sisters Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin). The story moves into to their survival, killing multiple zombies who stand in their path!
The movie starts with an amazing opening sequence showing how the population of planet earth were attacked by zombies and I have to say, this opening sequence could be one of the best openings to any movie that I’ve ever seen. The editing is superb, creating super slow motion shots of zombies on fire chasing firemen, women driving cars being attacked by an entire scout troop and ending up flying through her windscreen! You’ll have to watch it to fully get what I am talking about but suffice to say it was excellent.
The movie then opens with a great set of 4 rules presented to us by main character, Columbus (Eisenberg). His main rules to getting through life are simple and straightforward. My favourite is ‘Beware of the bathroom’ – you’ll have to watch the move to find out the other three…. of 32 that Columbus comes up with. Harrelson is excellent as comedy zombie killing nutter, Tallahassee and both Eisenberg and Harrelson bounce off one another brilliantly in the first half of the movie with some excellent dialogue. Tallahassee is only interested in finding a Twinky to eat before they all reach their sell-by date, and as Twinkys will no longer be edible, he will stop at nothing to complete his mission!
I think this movie had massive potential to be great, and in the first half it really does sell the story well with multiple belly laughs coming along, but the second half doesn’t deliver so much which was a shame. The girls in the movie are both well cast, in fact the entire main cast were all excellent with Bill Murray coming along for a cameo which was just genius. Throughout the movie, multiple nods to other films are mentioned not least that of Ghostbusters which is paid reference to multiple times. Murray admits to regretting ‘Garfield’ and the song to Deliverance also makes a cameo. Watching this movie with hundreds of film critics in the room was great as all the ‘in jokes’ seemed to work really well.
Something was missing though I’m afraid, and although the post production editing of the ‘rules’ that Eisenberg’s characters has are simply brilliant, they are all put in the first half of the movie leaving the second half a bit bare of substance which lets it down. That said, the effects were excellent and hats off to the costume and make up designers who did a brilliant job with all the zombies… and there must have been hundreds of them! The number of ways in which they die are countless, and in most cases, quite amusing!
I would definitely go and see this movie as I think it’s a great one to watch at the cinema. I thought there was potential for it to be as good as or better than Shaun of the Dead. Really, Shaun beats it hands down. In fact, the only think that you can compare about the two minutes are the fact that they both have zombies in them.
It’s got to be a 6.5/10 from me on this one. But if you’ve seen it, let us know what you thought in the comments below.
Zombieland is out next Friday, 9th October.