MOVIE REVIEW: ZOMBIELAND

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ZOMBIELAND (Sony Pictures)

Starring: Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenbereg, Emma Stone, Abigail Breslin

The plot: The world is overrun by the undead so nervous teen Columbus (Eisenberg) hits the road. Along the way he meets up with kick-ass zombie killer Tallahassee (Harrelson). They don’t particularly get along, but they are both good at one thing: killin’ zombies. Along the way, they meet up with two tough young grifters, Wichita (Stone) and Little Rock (Breslin). Together they kill zombies. That’s about it.

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The verdict: If that plot summary seems trite and a non-descriptive, well, it’s pretty much what happens in Zombieland. The joy of the film – and there’s a goodly amount to be had – comes from the performances. Eisenberg (Adventureland) does his best Michael Cera as the eminently practical teen who’s survived this long thanks to his extreme caution and unbreakable rules so you just know he’s going to break those rules. As for Harrelson, I haven’t had this much fun at one of his films since Natural Born Killers; his Tallahassee is one tough good ol’ boy, but you just know he has a sensitive side, too. The ladies are adequate, but the biggest laughs come from the interactions between Eisenberg and Harrelson.

     That said, the heaps of praise being ladled on Zombieland are a bit much. It’s a funny film but not that funny, with most of the biggest reactions coming from jarring bits of violence punctuated by good sound design, i.e. there are more “ooh, ahs!” than “ha ha’s.” The DLB certainly doesn’t feel obliged to make a return trip to Zombieland, even though a sequel is extremely likely if it does well this weekend.

Rating: 7/10

Hint: Stay until the credits roll for a brief extra scene.

Link: www.zombieland.com

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