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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
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Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
15
Cast
Amber Heard
Emma Stone
Abigail Breslin
Woody Harrelson
Jesse Eisenberg.
Directors
Ruben Fleischer.
Screenwriters
Paul Wernick
Rhett Reese.
Running Time
82 minutes

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Zombieland
Harrelson and Eisenberg save the world in a biting comedy


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Plot
After a virus has swept the world and turned 99% of the population into ravenous zombies, four survivors hook up on a perilous journey to LA: nervous Columbus (Eisenberg), badass Tallahassee (Harrelson) and con-team sisters Wichita (Stone) and Little Rock (Breslin).


Review
Zombieland
By now, you’ve probably heard about The Cameo. Still, just to be on the safe side, we won’t spoil the identity of The Cameoer, but otherwise it’s true: halfway through Ruben Fleischer’s absurdly assured debut, Zombieland, there’s a ‘surprise’ appearance from a major comedy star that is so daffy, so self-effacing and so perfectly pitched that it virtually shuts the book on any other celebrity cameos from hereon in. As The Star gamely takes the piss out of his (or her) career and the perceived egocentric nature of celebs, indulging in knockabout recreations of his (or her) most-vaunted blockbuster, Zombieland – a movie that had seemed, for all the world, like just another zombie comedy – is inarguably brilliant.

Thankfully, what precedes and follows The Y’Know is arguably brilliant, and worthy of being mentioned in the same breath as the genre-leader, Shaun Of The Dead. That movie, stylish as it was, spent a lot of time grounding the action in reality, but Zombieland takes place in an unabashed fantasy world where little old ladies can crush zombies with grand pianos, Looney Tunes-style, and where the zombie apocalypse is merely an excuse for four characters to have the run of America, driving around like they own the place, wallowing in luxury mansions and – occasionally – bumping into, and summarily dispatching, some zombies.

But, despite the title, the zombies don’t really matter in Zombieland. Oh, they’re there, alright, occasionally threatening and always ready to be splattered, but Fleischer and his writers, Reese and Wernick, are refreshingly interested in putting flesh on their characters’ bones, as opposed to stripping it off.

And what characters they are – normally in zombie films, the heroes’ ranks are padded out by unlikeable zombie fodder just treading water until they get munched. But Zombieland’s greatest achievement is in presenting four wholly likeable characters in whose ultimate survival you become wholly invested, whether they’re gambolling gaily around with The Cameoer or, in one neat road trip sequence, boring each other to tears with arguments about everything from Willie Nelson to Hannah Montana.

Admittedly, Emma Stone’s cynical Wichita and Abigail Breslin, as her little sister, are somewhat underwritten, but in Harrelson’s ice-cool Tallahassee, a man with an innate talent for turning the undead into the just dead, and Eisenberg’s Columbus, propelling the story with a wry young-Woody-Allen voiceover and his list of paranoid, survivalist rules, Fleischer has a classic buddy movie team at his disposal. Throw The Cameo in there, and the result is a zombie flick that stands, shoulder-to-decomposing-shoulder, with the best the genre has to offer.


Verdict
Very funny, often thrilling and full of neat little touches that should make it entirely rewatchable, Zombieland sees Fleischer join the ranks of directors – Romero, Wright, Raimi, Snyder – whose first films aren’t just zombie films, but great films.


Reviewed by Chris Hewitt

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Zombieland
Empire Star Rating

A fun zombie comedy.

This film is very funny, which is the main thing you want in a comedy after all. Although the story is kinda thin it didn't bother me too much as the jokes come fast and hard. The four characters are all likeable in their own way and the actors do a great job of portraying them. A fun movie to sit back and have a good laugh, and at only 88 minutes it's the perfect length for the type of film. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by reaper996 at 12:27, 24 August 2012 | Report This Post


Nothing to see here...

Failing to see anything great about this. Must have missed something. Didn't find it all that funny, thought the story abit predictable and found Tallahassee's character frankly annoying. Just really standard in all honesty. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by trainedasninja at 11:58, 30 June 2011 | Report This Post


Rule #32

I admit I didn't have that high expectations when I went to see this film at the cinema, but even if I did I would have loved this. Fun, exciting, hiliarious, packed with great characters, endlessly quotable and, weirdly for a zombie apocalypse movie, extremely feel good. Officially my new favourite film! ...plus Rule #32 will get you through so much more than the zombie apocalypse! :) ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by SkullKassidy at 23:18, 11 March 2011 | Report This Post


RE: Brilliant Credit Sequence...

L: matty_b L: sanchia Do you ever have moments when you wonder what the hell you were thinking at the time. arrison,gh Woody Allen would have been awesome in the role 'm sorry, Sanchia, I'm not picking on you, but it's just getting funnier. ]/quote] That bloke from Cheers, now I'm going home in a huff size=1] is not our friend ... More

Posted by sanchia at 17:52, 25 January 2011 | Report This Post


RE: Brilliant Credit Sequence...

I love Zombieland, should a great film from the awesome opening sequence with Metallica's From Who The Bell Tolls blasting in the background, the story was simple, the performances were great and the cameo was plain awesome on the sequel!! ... More

Posted by azzman1984 at 11:51, 25 January 2011 | Report This Post


RE: Brilliant Credit Sequence...

L: sanchia Do you ever have moments when you wonder what the hell you were thinking at the time. arrison,gh Woody Allen would have been awesome in the role 'm sorry, Sanchia, I'm not picking on you, but it's just getting funnier. ] ... More

Posted by matty_b at 08:21, 25 January 2011 | Report This Post


RE: Brilliant Credit Sequence...

Do you ever have moments when you wonder what the hell you were thinking at the time. Woody Harrison, although Woody Allen would have been awesome in the role ... More

Posted by sanchia at 20:47, 24 January 2011 | Report This Post


RE: Brilliant Credit Sequence...

L: sanchia It turned up on my doorstep thanks to Lovefilm. What a fun film. The whole thing was just entertainment from start to end and at no point outstaying its welcome. Jessie Eisenberg ties the film together really well with his voiceover presenting his rules and gives a great performance. llen provides a nicely charismatic performanceharacter which could quite easily have been a nasty unpleasant figure if played wrong but plays it perfectly. Overall a great little film. sp; Must ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by matty_b at 20:22, 24 January 2011 | Report This Post


RE: Brilliant Credit Sequence...

It turned up on my doorstep thanks to Lovefilm. What a fun film. The whole thing was just entertainment from start to end and at no point outstaying its welcome. Jessie Eisenberg ties the film together really well with his voiceover presenting his rules and gives a great performance. Woody Allen provides a nicely charismatic performance as a character which could quite easily have been a nasty unpleasant figure if played wrong but plays it perfectly. Overall a great little film. ... More

Posted by sanchia at 19:51, 24 January 2011 | Report This Post


Brilliant Credit Sequence...

Have to agree with previous posters about that. Finally got round to seeing this movie this weekend. Thoroughly enjoyed it! Harrelson and Eisenberg made a great double act. Will definitely be booking my seat for Zombieland 2. Though it'll be, for me, in non-migraine-inducing 2D ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by wgfuzzydunlop1 at 03:04, 15 November 2010 | Report This Post


This is proof that theres stil life (pardon the pun) in the zombie genre. Making the most of its fabulous location and witty jokes, this is a hilarious film that is up there with the best comedies of 2009. Woody Harrelson is riotous, making him a comedy master to look out for. Jesse Eisenburg is great as colombus, even if he is a little too michael cera. Emma stone and abigail breslin are both fine, although overshadowed by Eisenburg and Harrelson. In general its very funny, with a killer cameo ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by hjfleeds at 11:45, 24 October 2010 | Report This Post


Americas Shaun of The Dead? Believe it

A very happy New Zealand movie goer I am. Funny, thrilling great night out I actually preferred this to Shaun which I loved as well. I prefer American accents and locations as well. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by monkeyhumour at 11:09, 17 July 2010 | Report This Post


Shaun of the Dead Hits the States

Ever since Shaun of the Dead, Hollywood has been spewing out a ton of crappy zombie-comedies. Lets face it, Zombieland didn't have much to make people look forward to it. However, upon viewing it, it became apparent that there was something different about it. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you America's answer to Shaun of the Dead. Okay, so it has nowhere near the subtlety of Shaun, or the excellence of the writing and directing. What it does have however, is four truly loveable and hilarious... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by COLO at 20:05, 13 June 2010 | Report This Post


RE: Horrorguru Needs to Wake Up! Before he gets a Cuddle

It was missing Dylan Moran! ... More

Posted by BOHEMIANBOB at 08:51, 03 June 2010 | Report This Post


RE: Horrorguru Needs to Wake Up! Before he gets a Cuddle

It was good, over-hyped and lacked the punch that it promised, but it was a good film. If we are comparing it to f the Deadthere is no comparison. f the Dead and the park. 6/10 ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by robwillphill at 20:09, 02 June 2010 | Report This Post


Horrorguru Needs to Wake Up! Before he gets a Cuddle

So what if you grew up watching Romero and Fulci? I didn't and even in my mind i know those films are total classics compared to whats released today, of course films like Resident Evil are substandard if the director really went on set everyday thinking 'yeah this film is gonna kick Romeros ass and be the ultimate Zombie film ever' he'd be the biggest douche in the world, he already is for actually making Resident Evil films, and anyone else who thinks the same as him would join him.... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by eddc1990 at 05:32, 02 June 2010 | Report This Post


Nice...

Quality zom-com.... Great graphic, soundtrack and chemistry between the leads. Supriding, fresh and 100% entertaining. Bring on ZL2 ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Samurai7 at 12:01, 19 May 2010 | Report This Post


Zombieland

Some people complained about this film being a Zom-Com (for anyone who doesn't know, that is a Zombie Comedy) but these are the same people who ask "what would you do in a Zombie holocaust?" The serious zombie films have been done. No-one wants to make one or re-make a classic and the Resident Evil series, which by the way anyone who likes should be shot. What the hell is wrong with you? I thought would kill the zombie horror genre. But fortunately someone made an American version of S... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by mymatebone at 16:30, 08 May 2010 | Report This Post


tp://www.imdb.com/title/tt1156398/]Zombielandou take a big bowl. You pour a lot of humor in it, a big piece of horror and a few table spoons of coming-of-age and you mix it and top it off with a Twinkie. The result: Zombieland. A mix that,against the odds, does tastes good. Jesse Eisenberg seems to be born to play the part of lonely, nerdy zombie fighter. On the other hand you have Woody Harrelson as we like to see him: in a truly over-the-top part in wich he can give all that he`s got. The fa... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by TheGodfather at 21:31, 03 May 2010 | Report This Post


It's Shaun Of The Dead 2.0

It has the witty comedy of Shaun with a hilarious american twist and as a cherry on top, Bill Murray. One of, if not the funniest film of 2009. A very, VERY close contender to The Hang Over ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by LFCLavery at 23:27, 02 May 2010 | Report This Post


great zombie film

Excellent zombie film, like the american version of shaun of the dead! It had everything, blood, gore, romance and humour. The cast was greatv (how much is columbus like michael cera?) and a great story and script. A perfectly executed movie that leaves u wantingt more! P.S horrorguru lighten up everyone copies from somebody it anit no big deal! And shaun of the dead rules! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Empo at 16:11, 30 April 2010 | Report This Post


Great Zombie Flick

This movie was great fun from start to finish. Not exactly edge of your seat stuff but you definitely want it to last longer than it does. A pity Bill Murray can't have been in it a bit more. 4 stars for the bromance - 1 off for the romance. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by jdhilley at 17:34, 23 April 2010 | Report This Post


Like ordinary zombie movies!

I don't know what is extraordinary in the film that gives a 89% certified fresh rating in RT. I think they should have given more room for the script! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by batbhai at 11:38, 08 April 2010 | Report This Post


Zombieland--YES

Funny, violent, awesome. More please ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by lynnshep at 22:40, 29 March 2010 | Report This Post


Horror Guru needs no cuddles! Zombie land a film version of a dog shitting on your lawn.

Yawn! i expected some sarcasm from a Zombieland fan, however it does not alter the fact that Zombieland sucks ass juice. As for my credentials they are 100% geniune. For example first ever running zombies were in a film called Nightmare City, Peter Jackson's BRAINDEAD and Stuart Gordon's RE-Animator are the funniest Dead films ever. Shaun although a clear homage to Romero just was not that funny. Although Romero invented the cinematic Zombie mythos it was actually god of horror H.P. Lovecraft wh... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Horrorguru at 14:34, 16 March 2010 | Report This Post


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