Zombieland ★★★½

Zombieland entertained me in the same way a video game engages our playful side. Taking the common sense of such a drastic change to the world, skimming across relational and carnal needs and infusing an audience participation of sorts. Shades of personal makeup and the foundation for rules to there survival are established giving us enough buy in for what’s ahead. Affording the audience many opportunities to connect with a favorite or two. Might I add without going emotionally sappy by trying to introduce some fake heart journey as well. It often pokes fun at horror tropes not uncommon to a good eye roll in franchise stalwarts such as Friday the 13th or Halloween. For example, not giving yourself a way out, #3 - Beware the bathrooms. If that’s not common sense I don’t know what is. Or the Kill of the week, dropping a grand piano on an unsuspecting flesh eater. Never mind how she got it up in the air. You’ll just miss the fun. Seeing it come from a meek church lady, most of us would assume easy prey, only made the sequence more memorable. My personal favorite is #2 - The Double Tap, “Don't get off stingy with your bullets”. Lets face it, there’s no life changing lesson to uncover here. It’s junk food for the zombified generation of today. A genre desperately looking for new ways to imagine the worlds demise with shades of intense bloodlust and gore. Director Ruben Fleischer has packed his lean carnival ride with one liners and memorable scenario’s galore. Woody Harrelson in the caged ticket booth unleashing all manner of hot lead with the grace of a clubbed foot ballet dancer. Bill Murray pretending to be a zombie for survival and then being accidentally killed for his dim sense of humor. It’s like watching a video game with endless lives. You never truly fear any of them being overtaken by it’s cranky horde. There’s little or no purpose for any of them but lets face it, who cares. We didn’t come for meaning or life’s cheerleading tryouts. The only real question is if this kill will be more gruesome than the last. And will there be a good laugh had. The production team has edited and designed the screen to feel like a video game without making it painfully obvious. The pace and eye candy we expect from such a genre is overloaded with satisfying sweets. But the greatest strength is Eisenberg, Harrelson, Stone and Breslin. Each is a living breathing avatar we root for, laugh with and release our aggression through. Each reflects human weakness to varying degrees. But it’s never transparent enough to disengage us from Fleishchers well crafted playtime fantasy. That I hope isn't a prophecy of sorts. (wink, wink)

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