Saturday, July 10, 2010

Paragraph Movie Reviews: Zombieland

If you don't have plans to see this movie, you can check the spoilers here and then come back.

This movie had a tiny cast, which was perfect because it was composed entirely of actors I really dig. The actual zombie/comedy structure of the story was really incidental for me, as it was the characters, the performance and the chemistry that upped the quality and the post-apocalyptic setting just provided a nice backdrop for them to bond against. I'm so high on Jesse Eisenberg, who is just so endearing in the nerdiest of roles and makes the little hero moments much sweeter and does the little under-his-breath lines so well. I'll admit I didn't enjoy him quite as much here as I did in some other stuff he's done, but at 80% he's still real good and he has this intangible quality of being able to make me want to see him get the girl like no other actor I can think of. Really the biggest strength of Emma Stone's performance was her chemistry with Eisenberg, and I'm not sure how much of that was him, but she's convincingly slick and totally desirable, so I'm pretty sure she could hold her own; honestly, I wish they'd given her more to do. Abigail Breslin was probably my least favorite here, but that's because she's at a weird stage between cute child actor and capable adult performer, and it kind of seemed like the writers or whoever didn't know how to handle that. But hoo boy, Woody Harrelson, man; dude's got so much manic energy and charisma that he brought to bear in full here. His every action screams bad ass, but he's fully capable of making a line or a look funny or even sad as well. No question Woody was the MVP here and his Tallahassee was just an awesome character. Overall, the story is serviceable and the dialogue swings from clever to clunky, but this cast is totally good enough to carry the bad bits. I was a little let down by the big Bill Murray cameo, but probably because I had it so crazy hyped. Oh, the other good thing the zombies brought along was a fantastic action sequence at the end. Didn't blow me away as a classic and could have tanked in other hands, but with this group of actors I sure laughed and cheered a lot and would totally sit through a sequel.


Kello said...

I'm convinced that Jesse Eisenberg is secretly Michael Cera in a wig.

Ben Morse said...

He could be Michael Cera from five years ago when I still liked him in a wig.

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