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Welcome to The United States Of Zombieland!!
Member Name: sparkymarky1973
Advantages: A neat addition to the zombie sub-genre
Disadvantages: Can't decide whether it wants to be wholly horor or wholly comedy!
Set in an America that has been devastated by zombie attacks, Zombieland follows the journeys of a young geeky type character who goes by the name of Columbus, as that is where he is originally from. He has managed to survive through a series of "rules" he has developed for coping with all that has happened. These include "Beware of bathrooms", "Always Wear seatbelts" and "Don't be a hero". He comes across fellow survivor, Tallahasse (played by Woody Harrelson), when he loses his transport and before long, the pair have teamed up with two other survivors; sisters Wichita and Little Rock who are heading for the theme park, Pacific Playground.
The idea of only being known by your place of origin comes from the need not to form attachments. This is essential in case of attack because attachment to one paticular individual is likely to slow you down and jeopardise your survival. Tallahasse has an obsession with Twinkies and it is this craving for sweet satisfaction that often puts the group at risk. The film, which refuses at any moment to take itself too seriously, also features Bill Murray in a cameo as himself who hides out in his Hollywood mansion dressed as a zombie and who comes to a predictable and tragically sticky end!
Overall, this is a pleasent enough comedy but as a zombie flick, I did feel a little as though something was missing. Maybe it was the sense of tension or excitement as it never really appeared to me that any of the leads were ever in real danger! I could not put my finger on any one thing, but there were plenty of moments where I felt a real sense of dissatisfaction and even disassociation!
I really wanted to love this, being a big, big fan of the zombie subgenre, but instead I just felt myself running hot and cold. There are some awesome moments, in the opening sequences we see a fireman putting out a fire being attacked by a flaming zombie emerging from the building he is extinguishing, and the film works well within established zombie lore whilst never actually revealing how events came to pass. But still, this seems to straddle the line between horror and comedy whilst never truly embracing either!
There is talk about the cast returning for a potential sequel (or sequels) and that is a little troubling. Because if I went to see any future films, I would like for the franchise to decide exactly what it wants to be.
In the meantime, Zombieland is worth a watch and is good for a night in but don't expect to be blown away!
Summary: A group of survivors unite to beat the apocalypse!