Monday, October 05, 2009

Limber up

I went to see Zombieland thinking it might be funny… and little else, so imagine my pleasant surprise when I realized I was enjoying myself a lot more than I dared hoping. A lot more, as it happens, than with most movies I've seen this year. Am I exaggerating? Well, perhaps I am still giddy after laughing so much, but what can I say? Zombieland is ridiculously entertaining, absurdly bloody, and spectacularly hilarious.

Jesse Eisenberg is funny as Columbus, but Woody Harrelson steals the show with his ultraviolent character Tallahassee, a southerner on a quest to find a Twinkie and kill as many zombies as possible, and to kill them with style and extra savagery. (There's actually a Zombie Kill of the Week award!) Emma Stone also does a very good job playing Wichita, and cute Abigail Breslin is growing up and starring in what has to be her edgiest movie to date. The interaction between these four characters (pretty much the whole cast right there) is dynamic and funny and sometimes even touching, and their dialogue is quick and witty and feels real and authentic.

But the best thing about Zombieland is that it never takes itself seriously. From bludgeoning a zombie with a banjo to smashing another one with a piano dropped from a window, the ludicrous and obscenely violent deaths combine with great one liners and a devil-may-care attitude that turn the movie into a laugh riot. And let's not forget Columbus's rules to survive in Zombieland, hilariously written on the screen and showing up at the most unexpected times. And talking about unexpected, there are a couple of surprises that I cannot even hint at but that almost made me die with laughter. (Something I can actually reveal: wait until the end of the credits, for there is a hidden scene.)

Does it sound like Zombieland is funnier than the last four comedies you saw combined? (Except for perhaps The Hangover.) Well, that's because it is, and it is even bloodier than Inglourious Basterds, another surprisingly phenomenal movie I saw recently. So go ahead and buy a ticket to Zombieland. If you survive your trip there, you'll find you might have just had the time of your life!

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