Don’t say the zed word!

I just got home from seeing Zombieland and, boy, am I ecstatic. Like most mature young adults, I got over the whole zombie craze a little bit before I started seeing blood-clad 19 year old emo kids all over the Myspace. I was in a band, I got to see a lot of pages. What? Tinged with the image of unnecessarily angsty brats, I was less than stoked about the release of Zombieland. I saw it. I loved it. That’s all.

For a moment, I thought it was just going to be a Michael Cerian twist on the classic horror genre; not that Cera was cast, but it’s easy to lump Jesse Eisenberg in the same category. Eisenberg proved to play awkward a lot smoother than Cera could have, since, you know, he’s acting. I don’t want to get too carried away with comparing the two because I’m pretty sure Eisenberg gets the comparison more than he deserves. My point is, he rocked. His comedic timing was excellent, making the awkwardness of the character believable. He even sheathed the awkwardness to show us a little bit of depth. Gawker declared that Zombieland will propel Eisenberg to “hoodie heartthrob” status. I am inclined to agree—but watch out. He’s totally going to pull a Heath Ledger on us before we can say “sleeping pills.” And no, I don’t mean he’s going to die prematurely.

Digression aside, this was not Dawn of the Dead meets Juno. This, to me, was like Shaun of the Dead meets Road Warrior with a little Wonder Years thrown in for good measure. The writing is spot on throughout the entire movie, only dragging in the middle; but I can’t really go into that without spoiling the fun. Basically, there is a killer cameo and I think the writers relied a little too much on the inherent hilarity of said cameo and slacked off. Despite this, the story arc rises and falls appropriately, using the post-apocalyptic zombie hellscape as a backdrop to a story about family, loneliness, and friendship.

The casting is excellent. Everyone played their part perfectly. Woody Harrelson brought tons of enthusiasm to his character, Tallahassee, who’s on an endless quest for that one last twinkie. One thing that I observed about Emma Stone, who’s been in every teen movie since Superbad, is that she was not over-sexualized, making her a more interesting and thereby more attractive love interest. Abigail Breslin, though no longer Little Miss Sunshine, is still darn cute. She delivers her lines with a precocious finesse that doesn’t make you want to hit her. I usually hate kid actors, but, aside from Bobb’e J. Thompson, Breslin is definitely the bees knees; plus, she can shoot the fuck out of some monsters like no other (in her age group). Take that Horace from The Monster Squad!

I confess that I was sold on this movie by the opening credits when Metallica’s “For Whom the Bell Tolls” chimed. Goosebumps. The score was the icing on the cake, or the cream filling in the twinkie; but that’s always the case, isn’t it?

There is something for everyone in this movie. Guns, hoodies, gore, metal, wit, Ghostbusters. The cinematography is awesome. The editing is awesome. The typography is awesome. Director Ruben Fleischer did a bang up job in his feature length debut. You have no excuse to miss this one. This is definitely the best zombie flick since Shaun of the Dead. Truth.

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