Sunday, November 22, 2009

MOVIES- Zombieland isn't bad

Not since SHAWN OF THE DEAD has there been a funnier and more unserious movie about the unserious idea of a zombie apocalypse than ZOMBIELAND. A lot of reviewers didn’t care for the tone and I wasn’t impressed by the ad campaign but I found myself amused and pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t just a long tribute to mayhem. In fact, if you’re in the right mood it’s a pretty entertaining couple of hours. True, if any of your critical faculties are engaged you are going to be frustrated- where do they get the unlimited supplies of gasoline they seem to have access to and why does the electricity still work after everyone has been turned into the cannibalistic living undead- but if you simply take the movie on its own terms it has a pretty good mix of pathos and carnage, just a little teenage angst, and a wonderful turn by Woody Harrelson playing what could be easily imagined as a version of his breakout character, Woody Boyd, driven insane by the end of the world. The direction is unremarkable, the acting is fine, the dialog is predictable and not terribly witty, and the special effects are anything but special. Yet I didn’t find myself getting bored and the movie managed never to insult my intelligence too much. And there are times when it’s actually funny. (Rule One for surviving a zombie holocaust: Cardio!) Not a great movie, but for a mindless romp through a decimated civilization that never tries to be anything else the damn thing worked! If you have an evening to kill and a big bag of microwave popcorn then give it a try.

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