Zombieland – review

Zombieland (dir. Ruben Fleischer, 2009)

4/5 stars

Having watched the trailer I thought this looked like a rip off of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz but I was quite wrong. Of course, being a comedy/horror featuring zombies it couldn’t avoid comparison with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost’s masterpiece without which, this film wouldn’t have been made. However, it is quite a different film and well worth seeing.

The movie is set in the current time but in a world where a bite of an infected burger creates a terrible virus which turns people into sprinting (more the 28 Days Later style)  zombies. A young geeky loner student (almost a clone of Michael Cera) comes across a mad expert zombie killer played with great panache by Woody Harrelson and they agree to accompany each other on the way to the towns they hope will be zombie-free.

I must say that I struggled a bit with the first half hour of the film. It’s extremely violent and extremely gory – more so than Shaun of the Dead – so if you thought that was too much, give this a wide berth. I think that this served, however, to desensitise me, and I was laughing my head off later on.

There is a fantastic cameo – I won’t spoil it for you but it is brilliant! The production values are great, there are some very funny comedy set pieces, the script is well written and Woody Harrelson puts in a brilliant performance.

A really pleasant surprise and a creative take on the rom-zom-com genre.

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