Went to see Zombieland. Many other reviews have been written, and so I will just hit some high spots. Remember, I have stated my standards in advance, so don't blame me for being consistent.
Downsides: 1. Electricity? Really? I don't think so.
2. There is a claim that wearing zombie make-up, to look like a zombie, will protect you, because "zombies don't really mess with each other." Wrong! And the reason is....
3. These are not zombies, because they are not dead. They suffer from a virus that makes their brains swell, and makes them crazy. Thus, they would also go after each other, and anything else that moved....leading me to.....
4. They are FAST, so they are not zombies. If they were dead, and slow, then sure the make-up thing might work, because zombies only want to bite the living. These creatures are simply deranged, smelly, poorly dressed, back-biting ammoral humans, like you might find in Duke's Literature Department. Sure, they are scary, but they are NOT zombies. So, instead of a zombie movie, "Zombieland" is really more like "28 Days Later" or the "Modern Language Association Meetings." Terrifying and blatantly anti-intellectual, sure.
Upsides: 1. Woody Harrelson. I have tried to think if anyone else could have played this as well. I think not.
2. The not-zombies did at least play by the "chase and bite only" rule. They did not use weapons, and they did not coordinate. They simply keep on coming in infinite numbers. Well done by the director, Rubin Fleischer.
3. Woody Harrelson is at one point on a roller coaster with an Uzi. Now, for the rest of my life, I want to take an Uzi onto a roller coaster. Each of those things is really fun. Together, unbelievable. Add zombies to kill....well.
4. The movie carries the premise through pretty well. Extremely gross, but once you get used to that, very funny. Very, very funny.
5. The "rules" that the kid used to survive were a nice touch. But the director seemed to get bored with them, and they nearly disappeared. Likewise the kid's "irritable bowel" problem: important at the outset, seems to get cured halfway through, and never mentioned again. Still, the rules were a nice touch, and to be fair the rules do come up again twice in the final "Playland" scene.
6. The two female characters are good. Everyone knows that the older girl is the smartest of the whole group, and they just accept that. It did seem natural. Less posturing in a world with with survival on the line; go with the smart person to lead. The older girl (Wichita) also offered the boy (Columbus) an "intentional walk" to first base, but the kid got picked off. To be fair, the girl had a really deceptive move.
7. 80 minutes long. Not one of these over-blown, when-will-this-ever-end, epics of ego. Lots of noise, lots of gunfire, boy meets girl, girl becomes murderous zombie, boy smashes girl's skull with ceramic toilet cover (double tap), boy meets new girl, some adventures...and we're done. Heartwarming.
Overall: B+. And it's only not an A because the zombies are alive, and fast.
LAGNIAPPE: Two quotes from the WikiPedia page....
1. The zombies in Zombieland have been described by the casting director as:
"Ferocious, infected people that move erratically. They are diseased, as opposed to undead. These are not the lumbering walking dead of Romero’s zombie movies, but instead the super jacked up 28 Days Later/Dawn of the Dead zombies. They are scary and gnarly and gross."
2. Shortly after finishing the filming of Zombieland, Woody Harrelson had an altercation with a TMZ photographer at New York City's La Guardia Airport. His defense was that he was still in character and thought the cameraman was a zombie.