Zombie films have seen a somewhat resurgence in the last decade. Even if we forget the almost countless number of straight to DVD "specials" out there, we can count plenty of zombie or at least zombie like films that made it big, deserving or not.
Of the top of my head; "Shaun of the Dead", "Land of the Dead", the "Dawn of the Dead" remake, "28 days Later" & "28 Weeks Later", Diary of the Dead". All of these films made it to the cinema, and most of them are at least watchable, and some actually good.
So to round off the "00’s" we got "Zombieland" and I have to say, this definitely falls into the good category.
The film starts with a narration from one of the male leads of the film, (he adds narration throughout) explaining that the world has succumb to a virus turning the infected into the walking dead. This is a brilliant opening scene and sets the tone for the whole movie.
The narrator gives us some of his self-written rules for surviving what he now calls Zombieland. This is done really cleverly and there is several times during the film where the rules appear midair to show that someone has followed the rule, or regretted not following it. Fortunately this isn’t overused, and is normally inserted as a sort of punch line to a scene or to make a point.
Once we learn a few rules its time to meet the narrator, a college student trying to make it home to see his estranged parents, just so he has a purpose. He soon meets up with a fellow survivor, (played by Woody Harrelson in a role perfect for him) a man obsessed with killing zombies and Twinkies (not killing zombies and killing Twinkies. Killing zombies and eating Twinkies).
They meet up with a couple of other survivors and head east in search of a fabled safe-haven in an amusement park.
The film is really a road movie, there is really very little zombie killing in the first hour of the film, although what there is, is humorous and generally well done. I would have liked to see a couple of the kills in a bit more detail though.
The last 20 odd minutes however is a great zombie fest, with plenty of killings and frankly it’s funny.
Overall the film is really enjoyable, and I’ve no doubt in my mind that it will become a regular view (well, as regular as you can be when you have hundreds of films to choose from). The film is moving in places, but doesn’t get too sappy, and the pace feels pretty good, but like I said, for a zombie movie, there could have been more zombies.