Another movie that Netflix has been pushing on me is Zombieland. Now, the encouragement itself might be a recent thing – I suspect it was coordinated with the release, to the theaters, of the sequel. Zombieland actually came out back in 2009. It features an up-and-coming Amber Heard and a not-yet-an-old-man Woody Harrelson. It was the breakthrough role for Emma Stone. Confusingly for us old people, Emma Stone had made her film debut in Superbad as one of the female foibles opposite Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse (McLovin!), and Michael Cera. It took me a few more years to reliably differentiate between Cera and Zombieland‘s lead actor, Jesse Eisenberg. Zombieland‘s ensemble* is one that took much of the intervening decade to be able to fully appreciated.
As I’ve written previously, back in 2009 the zombie genre just didn’t have that much appeal for me. I’ve never liked shock horror and, given my own array of phobias, terror premised on virulently contagious disease was not something I’d consider to be entertainment. As I said, The Walking Dead cured my of this bias somewhat and I’ve come to see how zombie movies can be about a lot more than zombies. In this case, Zombieland is a feel-good rom-com by way of black comedy masquerading as a horror flick. It would probably still be on my someday/maybe list except that Netflix has seen fit to remove it from streaming.
Having been muscled into watching it, I learned that I really like it a lot. I have a soft spot for a certain kind of stupid, physical humor. This movie combines that with a touch of dark cleverness and I found it really funny. It probably helps, also, that I wasn’t expecting much. I watched it because I knew that time was running out, not because I anticipated something great.
I guess now I’ll have to watch the sequel.
*I did not include Abigail Breslin in my list. She was, at the time, coming off a string of successful movies as a child star. This may have marked the end of her marketability as such.