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Rated 3.08 stars
by 344 people

ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Rules for Survival
by Betty Jo Tucker

Are you afraid of zombies? Then Zombieland is the movie for you. Anyone seeing this “public service” film can’t help learning some tips about how to survive if these flesh-hungry creatures ever overrun the world -- plus they’re in for a fun time as well. Yes, there’s plenty of blood and gore here. But not to worry. The zombies are at a disadvantage, mostly because they face humans with GUNS. 

Unfortunately, not many humans are left. That’s why Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) starts on a journey back home to see if his parents have survived. Columbus has managed to stay alive by following a list of rules he’s developed about dealing with zombies. As the narrator, he tells us how important being aware of such simple things as Cardio, the Double Tap and Seat Belts can be in the struggle for survival.

When Columbus meets Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), a gun-toting good ‘ol boy with his own way of fighting zombies, the two don’t hit it off. However, they soon become unlikely partners in these Zombieland battles. A more dangerous challenge for Columbus and Tallahassee may come from two sisters (Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin) who have mastered the art of conning other humans in order to survive. Surprising and hilarious interactions result, especially when this unusual quartet meets a famous movie star at his plush mansion.

Eisenberg (Adventureland) and Harrelson (A Prairie Home Companion) do a great job playing off each other in this entertaining comedy/horror flick. Eisenberg’s dry delivery contrasts perfectly with Harrelson’s more vigorous style of speaking and behaving. Stone (The House Bunny) and Breslin (Definitely, Maybe) are also fun to watch. Because of their convincing portrayals, their characters become more and more appealing in each successive scene.

Laughs outnumber scares in Zombieland -- and that suits me just fine. However, I wish one irritating sequence had ended up on the cutting room floor. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t find anything amusing about characters destroying a Native American curio shop with joy and abandon, even if nobody is around to make purchases any longer.

Zombieland ranks at the top of my "Funniest Zombie Movies" list -- along with Shaun of the Dead.  Still, I'm taking Columbus' rules very seriously now. I always fasten my seatbelts, limber up, and check the back seat of my car. You never know when such simple actions may help save your life.

(Released by Columbia Pictures and rated “R” for horror violence/gore and language.)

For more information about Zombieland, please go to the Internet Movie Data Base or Rotten Tomatoes website.

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