First Hit: It is a fun horror film and I enjoyed it a lot.
Woody Harrelson is perfect as Tallahassee the lone ranger and killer extraordinaire of zombies. Jesse Eisenberg is superb as Columbus the nerdish young man who, through his rule making, finds himself skilled at being one of the few humans left in the USA.
As a team they are fun to watch as they traverse the USA in hopes of finding other humans or maybe sanctuary. Columbus has stayed alive by following certain rules like: “Always check the back seat.” “Never use public restrooms.”
These rules pop-up on the screen as the film moves along and add to the campy enjoyment of the film. Tallahassee is hell bent on killing zombies any way he can. He has found his calling and thoroughly enjoys the subtle enticement of a zombie towards him followed by a browbeating that is second to none (Zombie kill of the day, sort of stuff).
On their travels towards Ohio, they run across sisters Wichita (played by Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin). These two girls are a tightly woven pair and dupe Tallahassee and Columbus twice by taking their car, guns and ammo. However, each time the men run across them again. It is the last time at Pacific Playland where they finally decide to hang out together and fully trust each other.
The film is filled with vomit, black vile, killing and stringy human flesh everywhere. This is a zombie film so expect it.
Once you get over those visuals as being too disgusting, it is a fun romp with a great reference to the film Deliverance and also a reference to either Dan White or Russell Crowe because of Tallahassee’s sole desire to score some Twinkies.
Harrelson is simply perfect in this part. This underrated actor always makes me believe he is the character he is playing. One may not like his choices, but he is not afraid to show you he is not the aw-shucks guy he was on Cheers. Here, he is simply a down home boy who doesn't think too far into the future, isn’t afraid to be kind, but is prone to use a gun to settle an argument or to gain a Twinkie. In zombie killing he has found his calling. Eisenberg wonderfully fits his character as an antisocial nerd who spends most of his time in front of his computer playing games. He is lonely, wants a girlfriend, and wakes up one day to find a zombie in his apartment. He decides it is time to get outside more only to find he may be the only human left, at least in LA. Stone and Breslin are great as sisters plotting to keep themselves alive and protected. Their first allegiance is to themselves. Lastly, Bill Murray shows up as himself, living life the best he can in a zombified world and his get-up is perfect Bill Murray stuff. Ruben Fleischer perfectly paces this film and his direction is spot on throughout, job well done.
Overall: This was fun film and crisply executed. It is a no frills event and will find its place in the hallowed archives of fun horror films like the 1964 film "Zombies", the 1968 film "Night of the Living Dead", Mel Brooks "Young Frankenstein" and "Love at First Bite" because it sets a mark right between them all.