TV & Video Review: ‘Zombieland’ (Blu-ray)

TV & Video Review: ‘Zombieland’ (Blu-ray)

“Nut up or shut up.” This phrase is said repeatedly before key moments in Zombieland, but it is also a good descriptive for the film because it takes every device it employs to its absurd end. Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) has more than 30 rules he strictly lives by in the world now overrun with zombies […]

“Nut up or shut up.” This phrase is said repeatedly before key moments in Zombieland, but it is also a good descriptive for the film because it takes every device it employs to its absurd end.

Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) has more than 30 rules he strictly lives by in the world now overrun with zombies – they’re the reason he’s outlived most other people. Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) only appears to have one rule: kill zombies; not just the zombies trying to eat him but all zombies wherever they may be. Together, they might just get each other killed. Wichita (Emma Stone) and her sister Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) do whatever they must to survive without regard for anyone else’s well being. Of course that disregard comes into question when they meet the guys.

Even the zombie purist can enjoy this film for the horror comedy it portrays. It doesn’t abide by a lot of the traditional rules, but most of the violations serve a comedic/entertaining purpose – it wouldn’t be as amusing if Tallahassee was running at a snail-paced zombie with a hammer and a smile. Besides, Zombieland isn’t trying to make a statement; it’s just trying to have a good time.

Eisenberg is “the other guy” that plays young men with confidence issues (see Adventureland), though he is at least as good as Michael Cera. Here, he is flawless as the somewhat uptight loner just trying to get home. Harrelson is also great as the guy who tries to “enjoy the little things,” which just happens to include destroying things whenever he feels the need. Not surprisingly, he plays the slightly unbalanced guy with balls quite well. Stone and Breslin’s sisterly bond is evident, though their relationship could easily have been interpreted as just good friends. Stone is convincing as the girl who’s trying to appear tougher than she really is, while being sexy without trying (or beauty products). Breslin looks all grown up since her breakthrough performance in Little Miss Sunshine, but her talent is almost wasted in such a small role that often has her sleeping or screaming. The cameo by Bill Murray is hilarious and the actor’s exit from the film is entirely fitting and comical.

The other element of amusement is Columbus’ rules, which guide his every move and flash across the screen when appropriate. The top three are: 1. Cardio; 2. Double tap; and 3. Beware of bathrooms. Of the 32 we are privy to, they are all practical, make logical sense and could definitely contribute to extended life during a zombie apocalypse – you may consider adding an extra page to your copy of Max Brook’s The Zombie Survival Guide.

The special features include: commentary with Harrelson, Eisenberg, director Ruben Fleischer and writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick; picture-in-picture behind the scenes track; a behind the scenes featurette; a look at transforming the United States to post-apocalypse; visual effects progression scenes; movieIQ via BD-Live; and a digital copy of the film.