From the beginning we're told that the wonderful country of America, the land of the free, is no longer America, but is now Zombieland, having been taken over by zombies thanks to an outbreak of mad cow disease, which turned into mad human disease, and is now mad zombie disease. This outrageous, but somehow (thanks to the magic of movies, I guess) believable plot is the basis for one of the best comedies of the year, Rubin Fleischer's Zombieland.
Jesse Eisenberg is slowly becoming Michael Cera's biggest competition in Hollywood as he plays his second anti-hero in a year (after this past Spring's Adventureland). Eisenberg is our narrator throughout the movie, giving us his guidelines on how to survive zombie attacks (through a clever list of rules, which pop up at the most appropriate times), as well as just his outlook on life in general. He's on a mission to get back to his hometown of Columbus, OH in order to see if any remnants of his family are still in existence. Along the way he runs into a ragtag group of humans: Woody Harrelson (as Tallahassee, resident gun expert and adult), Emma Stone (as Wichita, the hottie), and Abigail Breslin (as Little Rock, the young, vulnerable 12 year old kid sister to Wichita). Together they make their way west and cause some pretty awesome destruction along the way.
The movie is quite violent, but not in an overdone, disgusting way. I found myself begging for more clever zombie deaths, like the piano dropping on one's head, or the adventures in the grocery store with the banjo. Fleischer's knack for comedy is clearly seen in the way the movie flows, never taking itself too seriously, but also not too stupidly. It's a smart, almost artsy comedy, told through the eyes of a big budget summer comedy, or horror film.
If you liked movies like Shaun of the Dead, then this is a film for you. The cast is clever. The effects are top notch. The dialogue is smart, witty, and laugh out loud. Plus, there's a surprise cameo you don't want to miss. Go check it out.