After much of the American population has been infected by a developed form of mad cow disease, turning them into zombie-like creatures, few regular human beings still survive. One of them is Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) who, on his journey to discover whether his parents are alive, teams up with the volatile Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) and two con artist sisters, Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin), to fight the zombie hordes.
Narrated by Columbus, we learn how he has survived to this point, adopting certain rules to obey, such as “check the back seat” and “avoid strip clubs” with accompanying subtitles each time they are adhered to, and it’s this personality that is the film’s charm. There are plenty of zombie films about, so it takes something a little different for them to stand out from the crowd. However, Zombieland is less about the zombies and more about each of the characters’ relationships with each other.
The comedy (it’s a comedy by the way, in case you’re completely in the dark about this film) is witty, although if you aren’t a fan of Jesse Eisenberg, there’s nothing here that’ll change your opinion of him. He’s likeable throughout and his relationship with Harrleson’s Tallahassee provides many of the film’s standout moments. Stone and Breslin are also excellent, but it’s Harrelson who shines (again).
Despite being a comedy, there is still plenty of gore and a few moments to make you jump. Add to that a truly incredible and memorable cameo scene and you have a film that, whilst cut from the same mould as Shaun of the Dead, is very much its own film and a very entertaining one at that.
Words: Chris Thomson