[In lieu of actual content, for the next several weeks I will present, at least, one review of an upcoming film each week. These are scripts that I’ve been paid money to read, and many of them contain watermarking, identification numbers, password-protection, and other ways of tracking what company it was sent to; because of this and my desire to keep my job, I will not offer downloads for ANY of the scripts I review here. Don’t bother asking.]
Jeez, I know I’m going to start sounding like a broken old record playing a crazy old coot’s minor hits, but Zombieland pretty much exemplifies everything that just kinda bugs me about contemporary comedies. I’ll find it hard to write this review without comparing it to Shaun of the Dead, because Zombieland feels like a vastly inferior version of that film (and one could speculate this movie would have never been made if not for Shaun…), but I’ll try to refrain from turning this into a “Zombieland sux cuz its not liek this other movie!!!”-type rant.
However, you should know that Zombieland has one big, distracting similarity: it merges the zombie horror subgenre with the 20-something slacker comedy subgenre. Sound familiar? Unfortunately, instead of using familiar horror tropes to tell a solid, somewhat unique story about a 20-something slacker getting his shit together in order to embrace adulthood (not to mention using the “zombie” motif to great satirical effect), Zombieland…just kinda rests on the not-so-novel conceit of having semi-nerdy 20-something slackers wandering through a world filled with zombies. I’m not saying that in a post-Whedon world, every horror-comedy has to have some sort of satirical edge and metaphoric purpose, but a Kevin Smith “hang out and shoot the geeky shit”-type comedy occasionally interrupted by zombie shootouts doesn’t quite have the same effect as Shaun of the Dead‘s “thrust a reluctant slacker into a leadership role, forcing him to realize there are more important things in life than getting pissed and playing Playstation” story. Zombieland shambles aimlessly toward some loose goals, but while it flashes back to the characters’ pre-zombie lives, it never quite accomplishes the job of showing how these experiences are changing them or making them grow.