Zombieland rules. Moviegoers discovered the zombie-kill fest last weekend, and it started the film off at #1 in the box office, beating Disney's 3-D rerelease of the Toy Story films. Thus, we have a shorter and less confrontational episode of He Said/She Said this week. But despite this version's brevity and droolage, feel free to agree with us. The geekery continues here for what is more than likely to be a horror comedy classic, like that other movie about zombies, Shaun of the Dead. CLICK HERE to read McLaughlin's Scorecard Review of Zombieland
In case you haven't seen Zombieland yet, here's the plot: An old burger at a Gas n’ Gulp gradually turns the entire world population into either zombies or zombie chow. Meet the only four survivors to this gruesome apocalypse: Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), Wichita (Emma Stone), and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin).
However, as always, we advise you see the film before reading our discussion, as spoilers are completely fair game. And now it's time for another episode of He (Nick Allen) Said ... She (Morrow McLaughlin) Said.
It seems that you, me, and all of America have caught on to the awesome movie experience that is Zombieland, a well-rounded action comedy that makes the "undead" idea of a zombie seem fun still. Probably not as much of a classic as Shaun of the Dead but still one hell of good time, I was astounded by how easily the film cracked a funny joke, offered up an exciting zombie kill, or even created interesting characters. I thoroughly enjoyed the film's sense of humor, with its zombie killing rules and great Woody Harrelson-isms. I am surprised no one else thought it was hilarious that he drew a "3" on whatever vehicle he comandeered, in honor of Dale Earnhardt.
Sure, the movie isn't perfect, but it's still like an 8/10. The zombie killing does seem to drop off for a half hour or so, but fills that time with a great cameo and also some great humor. Not to mention a romantic interest that is mostly believable.
Complaints? Hmm. They really hammered down how lonely Jesse Eisenberg's character was, which became a bit annoying. Ok, I get it, he's a loner, didn't have family, wants to meet a girl. He has a few doe-faced moments that are so ingenuine to human reactions, but I guess they work. Maybe because Emma Stone was involved.
How do you see this compared to Shaun of the Dead?
This may be the first He Said/She Said where we debate whether or not a movie is simply "wicked cool," or if it falls firmly into the category of "orgiastically phenomenally awesome." Normally, we're a bit more at odds, so I think I'm going to enjoy this one.
And now I'm going to say something that will make you gasp...I liked Zombieland more than I liked Shaun of the Dead, and I LOVED Shaun of the Dead. The crux here is that one of them set a precedent, but that doesn't make it superior; if Zombieland was made first, everyone would offer it up as the horror/humor standard too.
I didn't mind how the movie portrayed Columbus as a pitiful, lonely wanderer, but maybe that's because it's not my sex. I tend to be a lot more protective of the female characters and I really have little emotional investment in whether or not the men are dopey puppy dogs or not. Although, I'm not sure which disingenuine doe-faced moments you're referring to--care to specify? HE SAID
There's one moment where Eisenberg plays too much of the Michael Cera card, and it's right when Columbus considers leaving the trio for his own route. She stops the car, and he takes off his seatbelt. Then he gives this really sad-sack face, which is more annoying than emotional. He keeps looking at her, and then puts his seatbelt back on. Then he says something like "I knew that wherever she was going, that was where I wanted to be." Please. Give me a break. Add a few more of these lines and you're pushing it into tired Cera territory (though I like Michael, but I am afraid his upcoming Youth in Revolt might put me over the edge). On my first viewing of Zombieland, I really liked Eisenberg. He was empowering to those of us who have semi-fros and drink Mountain Dew and eat Golden Grahams. But on my second trip to the film, I got a tad tired of him.
Ok, so I must confess. I ... agree with you about Shaun of the Dead. Now, don't get me wrong fanboys, I have seen Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz numerous times, and I get the jokes. But something about Zombieland sat better with me, though it could have used a few memorable lines. I suppose as far as zombie killing goes, Zombieland was better. But as jokes? It's close. I might have to go towards Shaun of the Dead, but then again, that Simon Pegg film didn't really have the oh-so-clever zombie killing rules.
Favorite scene? As unusual as this choice may be, I am going to have to say when they go to the gift shop and destory EVERYTHING. Think about it. If there was nothing holding you back, why wouldn't you destroy everything in sight, (for funsies of course)? The slow-motion made it spectacular, and the Mozart played on top was a nice touch. It was a great moment of humor and also honesty that realized even if zombies roam the earth, breaking sh*t still looks awesome.
I did like the scene where they busted up the gift shop and I also thought the classical scoring of the scene was wonderful. I think it works much better as a movie scene and a metaphor, although I couldn't help putting myself in that situation--the zombies will hear you! SSSHHHHH!
My only complaint with Zombieland is that it goes against human psychology to break away from the last group of survivors in order to go to a theme park--but that is some serious nitpicking. We do have a social, herd mentality and I thought the movie started to try too hard to put the girls in jeopardy--create a conflict where there wouldn't be one in reality. Again, I'm straining to come up with that complaint. If I had my drothers, we'd spend this whole He Said/She Said punching each other in the arm and saying, "DUDE, THAT ROCKED!" Obviously, we can't---(can we?)---it would probably get repetitive.
So even though I've already built an alter to Zombieland, I'll go ahead and say something chickish and lame just for you. Here goes: "My main concern with films of this ilk is that they will desensitize today's youth." And now, because I can't help myself..."Which will prepare them for the zombie apocalypse to come."