370) Zombieland (2009) Dir: Ruben Fleischer Date Released: October 2009 Date Seen: October 29, 2009 Rating: 1.75/5
If Zack Snyder's Dawn of the Dead remake proved anything, it's that there's nothing wrong with a well-polished pastiche whose only ambition is to putter around with the scenarios posited by better films. Hedging your bets is one thing. But thinking that you're carving a swath for yourself by explicitly spell out what was already implicit in most films of your chosen genre is another thing entirely. Zombieland's creators, director Ruben Fleischer and writers Rhett Resse and Paul Whernick, feel they've accomplished something by telling us out-and-out that there are "rules" to surviving the zombie outbreak and the world is now a morbid playground for anyone that follows them. They've turned the zombie genre, a type of drama primarily concerned with survival of the fittest, into a survivalist's wet dream. Fanboys, rejoice: you can vicariously live out your Gallagher-related fantasy of squashing a clown zombie's skull with an oversized mallet. This isn't giving the people what they want, it's just mindless fan service for its own sake.
Again, that would be tolerable had the Wernick and Reese provided something in the way of memorable characters. Sadly, we get Jesse "Michael Cera Way Too Lite" Eisenberg as our geeky "rule"-enforcing hero, looking for a family, a girl, a good line; and Woody Harrelson as the fast-talking moron badass who gets by with long-lasting one-liners like "Nut up or shut up." There's that cameo some people are talking about but, um, ok, so there's a cool cameo in a boring movie. I'm sure you could say that about Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes. Promises tons of fun without the need to think too hard about them but then subsequently confuses bluster for fun. Feh.