Time Out rating:
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Time Out says
Tue Oct 6 2009Drop a loaded 12-gauge into the trembling mitts of a bubble-permed dweeb (Jesse Eisenberg), partner him with a bald, Bourbon-swilling Southern wildman (Woody Harrelson), then have them drive stolen muscle cars across the country formerly known as the United States of America, now a post-apocalyptic wasteland dubbed Zombieland.
It’s a foolproof set-up that allows an army of the undead to attack this tooled-up twosome from all flanks as they spit golden zingers at each other amid a slow-mo cascade of cartridge cases and blood. A mysterious ‘no-names’ policy means all the characters are identified by the places they’re headed to: Eisenberg is Columbus, Harrelson is Tallahassee, and along the way they are joined by a pair of juvenile femme fatale siblings called Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) and Wichita (Emma Stone).
It’s clear from the off that director Ruben Fleischer has his eyes trained on the comic jugular, and he attains an astronomical laugh count from Rhett Reese and Paul Wernickat’s fizzing, pop-savvy script. He also manages to work in a film-stealing A-list cameo which leads to arguably the funniest scene you’re likely to see in cinemas this year. Hardened genre fans (those who aren’t laughing) may feel short-changed by the film’s loose approach to horror convention – it’s more of a droll B-picture like ‘Tremors’ than, say, Romero’s ‘Dead’ films – but there is plenty of gizzard-chomping mayhem to see them through the brisk runtime. Plot-wise, it’s little more than a series of loosely connected sketches, but ‘Zombieland’ is Friday night multiplex fodder of the highest order.
Author: David Jenkins