It’s currently the top-grossing zombie film of the world. It’s the most recent zombie film I’ve seen. It stars Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network), Woody Harrelson (Kingpin), Abigail Breslin (Nim’s Island) and Emma Stone (Superbad). How bad can it be?
Ok – We’re faced with a doozy here. Fast Zombies, in the USA, with a rag-tag family who meet up on the road when faced with treachery and betrayal. It would be easy if it weren’t for the fact that it’s FAST zombies. You know. The kind where they run and jump and climb and kill most of the world in what feels like a few short hours… Yeah. That kind.
Let’s start with the plot shall we? “Columbus” (heading to Columbus, Ohio in search of surviving relatives) loses his car in a small collision with a wall, resulting in him continuing on foot. He meets “Tallahassee” on the way and manages to get a lift. Tallahassee is seeking the last ‘Twinkie’ on Earth – He loves Twinkies. They meet “Wichita” and “Little Rock” who manage to steal their car and weapons, before leaving Columbus and Tallahassee stranded in the city they are in. BITCHES! Eventually, the lads find a fully loaded car with no signs of an owner, other than the dead hands clutching the steering wheel. Creepy. The drive off, before meeting the girls who again attempt to steal their car, before Columbus suggests that they travel together. They all agree and set off. The girls tall of their plan to go to the zombie free area of Pacific Playland, an amusement park in California. They invite Columbus and Tallahassee, but Columbus refuses, stating that he is going to Columbus. The girls tell him that it no longer exists, having been completely destroyed. He agrees to join them.
Along the way, they end up at Hollywood, where they plan to spend the night at Bill Murray’s Mansion. They get there for Columbus and Little Rock to watch Ghostbusters while Wichita and Tallahassee meet Bill Murray, who has just played a round of golf in zombie attire, safely making it there and back. They intend to scare Columbus and Little Rock with Bill, but Columbus accidentally shoots him. After he announces that he regrets Garfield (who he play in the ‘live-action’ movies), he dies, much to Wichita’s amusement. Columbus and Wichita nearly ‘get their mac on’ and she leaves with Little Rock. The lads decide to follow them, resulting in them being saved from hordes of zombies. Tallahassee ends up stuck in a vendor’s booth shooting at the hordes with his pistols, whilst Columbus runs off and fights his zombies (using the rides as weapons in some cases) and kills a zombie clown with a sledgehammer, overcoming his fear of clowns. He saves the girls and Wichita tells him her real name (Krista). Tallahassee finds a booth which is supposed to sell Twinkies, but Columbus gets nervous and accidentally shoots the last Twinkie in the cupboard. Tallahassee gets emotional, before being given a Twinkie that Little Rock found. Everyone happy with the situation, they leave the park.
Well, the plot’s not too bad actually. The basic idea behind what happens works and there’s nothing too unrealistic that happens other than Tallahassee surviving his onslaught of zombies. Just wouldn’t happen. As for the rest of it, it seems about as realistic and believable as it can possibly be. Heck, it’s not REALLY gonna happen, is it?
There are a few parts of the film that I really liked.
One – The survival rules. They all make sense and would probably help to save your life. What are these rules? I hear you ask. Well, here’s a shortened list.
1 – Cardio – Keep yourself fit and healthy – Fat people run slower and are the first to get infected.
2 – Double-Tap – Make sure a zombie is dead before you ignore it. We don’t want a Scream style jump-up when they are supposed to be dead, do we?
4 – Wear Seatbelts – The last thing you want is to be killed in a car accident!
Don’t Be A Hero – You don’t want to kill two people because one person was in danger, but you also don’t want to let a useful person die – Use in moderation!
22 – When In Doubt, Know Your Way Out – If you don’t think it’s safe, know where the safe exit is!
31 – Check The Back Seat – Zombies can hide well in the back-seats of cars. Check them!
32 – Enjoy The Little Things – Insanity sets in quickly in Post-Apocalyptia. How do I know?
I’ve been there… I just do, alright? If you enjoy the little things, anger and sanity can be dealt with quickly and easily.
Great rules, I think. I’m certainly going to follow them.
I also liked the ‘Zombie Kill Of The Week’. We get a cut across to a nun who managed to set up a system which caused a piano to fall on zombies. ingenious and the epitome of ZKOTW…
My favourite bit, sadly, is the scene where we find out the truth about Tallahassee. Early in the film we hear how he lost his dog to the zombies, but later we find out that it was actually his son. This gives the character some depth and as such, makes him much more believable and likeable. I can connect with him. You can connect with him. We feel sorry for him and want him to survive.
The biggest disappointment. It’s a big-ee. Alright then. The zombies. They looked great and the Fast Zombie has always been the best for movies. Problem? They were made stupid. These are the kinds of zombies who know to chase the fat guy first, but don’t know the difference between a zombie and a guy dressed as a zombie. It’s ridiculous and annoyed the hell out of me. Other than that, well done.
I hate rating a film, because I always have to use an integer and as such, it gets a bit, well, rounded up/down. I want to give something a 6.7. I give it a 7. I want to give it a 7.4. I give it a 7. I just have to. Thing is, this film is a work of art and it deserves a 9, but I just don’t feel like it has earned it. Sure, it made me laugh. Sure, I felt the character’s pain. Sure, I would watch it again, but it doesn’t feel anything like a 9. For that reason and that reason alone, I must give it an 8. A modest, but accurate score.