Josh Keown’s review published on Letterboxd :
“Time to nut up or shut up!”
-Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson)
As this is my 100th review, I feel the need to commemorate it with one of my personal favourites of the last decade. Whilst I wouldn’t label it as one of the best I’ve seen of all time, it’s undoubtedly one of the best within the genre. Without further ado I give you my take on Zombieland, the greatest Zom-Com since Shaun of the Dead.
I think it’s fair to say it’s a rare occurrence indeed for me to completely agree with the critics on any film. The general consensus on Ruben Fleischer’s Zombieland, however, seems to proclaim it as a masterpiece of the macabre, and I simply couldn’t agree more. Almost every aspect of the director's feature debut screams perfection.
The cast are just sublime, delivering truly magnificent performances with real heart and soul. Jesse Eisenberg does great as our amiable and geeky hero, Columbus. Emma Stone is just wonderful, whilst Abigail Breslin shines with real potential. Woody Harrelson offers the stand out performance though, as Twinkie loving Tallahassee. His role is just the epitome of Badass, but also has a heart-breaking, human story behind him. Of course a cast are only ever as good as their script, but Fleischer and his two writers have worked wonders, with a downright genius screenplay.
What is most remarkable, though, is the sincerity of the characters. Unlike the majority of zombie-themed films, in which the characters are largely caricatures or stereotypes, in Zombieland they are realistic, believable people. You become so invested in their lives that by the time the journey is over, you simply don’t want to leave.
To find the perfect medium between horror and comedy is a difficult task to achieve. Many films have tried to do so, but few manage to find the precise formula. Zombieland manages to do so to perfection. The whole experience is literally packed with ingenious and genuinely funny scenes. The humour comes thick and fast, so that there is never a dull moment in the company of our four lovable characters. Of course, this is still very much a horror film, and there is plenty of gaudily gruesome moments for the fans of gore.
How, I hear you ask, can this film possibly be any better? Well, there is an answer to that. Put Bill Murray in it. Oh yes, in a pitch-perfect, scene-stealing role of himself, Murray and Fleischer deliver one of the single greatest sequences ever featured in a zombie flick. Although the appearance is only small, it is utterly side-splitting, and is arguably the best cameo in the history of film.
What makes Zombieland so wonderful is that it succeeds on a number of levels. Of course it’s a tremendously gory horror film with repulsive zombies aplenty, but beyond that it’s inventive, it’s a hilarious comedy, an excellent road trip and a genuinely touching tale of family and friendship.
And, just to reiterate, has Bill Murray in. Could you need more reason to see this film?
VERDICT; Just marvellous. I would whole-heartedly recommend it to fans of comedies, fans of apocalyptic horror, or just to those seeking a great time. Hands down one of the fantastic horror comedies of all time, enough to rival the likes of Shaun and the Evil Dead trilogy.
4/5 or 8/10 (Maybe even a 4.5/9, sometimes.)
(Please see this movie. I hereby bestow permission to punch me right in the face if you don’t enjoy it.)