I finally got around to seeing Zombieland, the horror-comedy zombie movie with Woody Harrelson. Some have called it America's answer to Shaun Of The Dead.
And I guess it is.
It is the brash comic take on Zack Snyder's Dawn Of The Dead in the same way that Shaun Of The Dead was a far more subdued take on Romero's original slower and deeper Dawn Of The Dead. And, like the Dawn remake, it's actually best if comparisons are left behind because it's a whole other movie.
It's loud, funny and gory in places with a modest yet enjoyable helping of zombie violence. The characters, for the most part, are great with Woody Harrelson stealing the show as Tallahassee, zombie-killing redneck twinkie-fan. He managed to nab most of the good lines and, with the character, most of the good action and he does it well.
The actions of the two female leads are sometimes baffling and I'm not sure either of them thought through just about anything they did in the movie but I guess I can forgive that. And, while I'm in a forgiving mood, I need to forgive that the movie really dipped in the middle. For a while, it seemed like the zombies vanished. That made way for some more human revelations in the characters but this felt a little clumsy and they swept it all away quite quickly.
In a way, it felt like the filmmakers actually got a little embarrassed by touching on some more human emotions in the movie and they just didn't commit.
That left the film with a bit of a void where the heart should have been but it was made up for by an initially jarring appearance that very quickly won me over.
In terms of simply how the movie is made, well, it looks great. A special mention must go to the opening sequence, using ultra slow-motion to great effect. What I loved from then on was that the destruction and collapse of society was rarely forced. It just sat there in the background, each location telling a story. Very nicely done.
One thing worth mentioning is that the zombies run. I have issues with running zombies but I can get past that seeing as its origins seem to be more the Dawn remake than anything else.
And it all leads up to some nice zombie action towards the end and a pretty satisfying climax. And one that, in one particular way (which I won't mention), I think is absolutely unique in the genre.
Overall, I enjoyed it. This is a fun movie.
I'll award Zombieland 3.5 bites out of 5.