Joy and happiness for those of us that purely love our zombie flicks with a large tab of tongue-in-cheek style, loads of humor and some spectacular zombie kills.
I admit to having some apprehension. I feared that I wanted more than the film, or any film, could deliver. Not to worry. I got my fix. And frankly, after some long weeks of watching films with only medium enjoyment, I really needed a movie I could just watch, laugh and savor.
As part of the cheekiness, we get continually escalating examples of “Zombie Kill of the Week,” which evolve as more convoluted, extreme or outrageous ways of dispatching the ambulatory deceased. I liked that. I also liked the role performed by actress Zoey Deutch, recently the love interest in “Why Him?” She had a spot-on depiction of a beautiful, self-absorbed but brainless young survivor. We wondered how someone so dim could survive, but appreciated her beauty so much that we didn’t care.
Our old friends from the first film all came back to please us once again. Emma Stone, Abigail Breslin, Woody Harrelson and Jessie Eisenberg all returned to their original roles. We see a whole side story with Breslin as a young woman trying to find a mate in a world filled with zombies and with very few surviving young men to choose from. Breslin has a great career going on, beginning with her child star role in “Little Miss Sunshine.”
Even Bill Murray returns, but only in the credits to make us laugh. Rosario Dawson pitches in with a substantial contribution. With 107 credits she has played everything from “Josie and the Pussycats” to “Death Proof.”
Director Ruben Fleischer also directed the original “Zombieland” and also the successful “Venom” and “Gangster Squad,” both based on comic books.
The writing team of Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese return from their duties on “Zombieland” but also from their wonderful, sideways scripts for “Deadpool” and “Deadpool 2.” They have the assistance of Dave Callaham for the screenplay.
The producers for once did not allow the budget to go haywire, keeping it to a Hollywood modest $42 million. They will surely gather their just rewards for making such a crowd-pleasing film.
Be warned, we do not want children to watch this R-rated film, or any R-rated film for that matter. It runs for one hour and 39 minutes. This four brain film will go down as one of the great zombie flicks of screen history.
Fun Fact: Both Bill Murray and Abigail Breslin have appeared in three zombie flicks each. They both have the two “Zombieland” movies on their sheets. Breslin starred in “Maggie” with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Murray starred in “The Dead Don’t Die” earlier this year.