ZOMBIELAND begins with the Lady Statue of Liberty Sony Pictures Logo coming off her pedestal and whacking off two zombies, reminiscent of the time she drew guns from her cowboy belt way back when in 1965 at the start of the Jane Fonda western comedy hit CAT BALLOU. Expect the same zaniness.
ZOMBIELAND takes half the film to pick up. The first half is a little slow, boring and annoying wth little action, silly special effects, unfunny jokes and impromptu nonsense from the actors. But be a little patient. The film improves. It calls for the narrator Columbus to bring the audience up to date with the state of affairs. The audience is informed that there are three categories of zombies, the very slow, the stealthy and the new almost invincible breed.
ZOMBIELAND picks up, fortunately once a few comedic set ups set in. It is clear that the single premise of human beings fighting zombies is insufficient material for an entire film. One setup involves the meeting of Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) with a musician and their quest to find their Utopia, which in this case is Babylon. The problem with this one is the really annoying musician boyfriend, (Avan Joglia’s Berkeley) who is as unfunny as he is unoriginal. Babylon is a sort of hippie haven. Another set-up, the film funniest and best has the two Columbus and Tallahassee meet their doppelgangers. Each are unaware oftener own doubles, which make the situation even funnier. Columbus’s double is as dorky as himself with his own rules which he calls commandments.
A little romance is provided. One is the couple played by Emma Stone (as Wichita) and Jesse Eisenberg which is a little played out and manipulative. The other between Harrelson and Rosario Dawson (as Madison) is the wilder but funnier one which is more in tone with the movie.
Performances-wise, Harrelson and Eissenberg deliver exactly what audiences would expect of them. Harrelson overacts the way he normally does, screaming out his lines while jumping all over the place. Eissenberg does his usual talky dorky bit. The two opposites make the perfect unlikely buddies.
For a big budget zombie horror comedy, the special effects are excellent as is expected. There are lots of gore and violence with some good vomit thrown in. Chopped limbs, severed heads, gushing blood are plentiful whenever there is a zombie attack.
The film’s climax is the big zombie attack on Babylon after the residents celebrate with fireworks thus attracting the monsters. Special effects are turned on to the maximum with lots of pyrotechnics and explosions.
There is one last comedic set-up at the end so audiences that leave at the beginning of the closing credits. Bill Murray plays himself being interviewed at some sort of comic con convention promoting what is his new GARFIELD 3 movie When trying to churn out a fur ball with his interviewer, the interviewer strut spewing out vomit and while the convention is then attacked by zombies who are fought off by Murray.
Is ZOMBIELAND DOUBLE TAP better than the original? Hard to say as many will not remember the original (back in 2009) being quite some time back.