Zombieland is a grim film. It provides a commentary on society’s ills, and demonstrates humanity’s failure to manage an apocalypse of grand proportions contrasted against civilized utopian values. Cinematic enthusiasts do well by taking this movie seriously. Queue the vinyl record scratch. Yeah, right. Are you sure we’re talking about the same movie here?
If you’re a new reader to Wednesday Warriors, this series is not about stuffy interpretations of male movie protagonists. No, it’s about having fun! And what better way to have fun than to shine the spotlight on Tallahassee, the lone wolf, undead Zombieland killer?
Let’s dispense with the pleasantries and go for the jugular. When we first meet Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), he’s not your typical zombie exterminator. He likes Twinkies. He’ll do anything to find Twinkies. And his idea of a party is feasting on a plateful of Twinkies. Did I say he likes Twinkies?
How’s that for a good start? Oh, and he’s real good with a shotgun. And a Louisville Slugger. And hedge clippers. A little off the top is what he always says to an oncoming zombie threat.
To his benefit, Tallahassee does like kids. On his journey to find the last Twinkie, he has travelling with him an insecure teenager called Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) trying to reach Ohio, Wichita (Emma Stone), a kick-ass chick whose attitude is more suitable with a ship full of sailors, and her sister Little Rock (Abigail Breslin), who is good at taking advantage of other people’s good nature.
Also, when it comes to working with others, Tallahassee has only one rule: stay out of the way. He has a method to dealing with the undead that may not be as pleasant as one might expect. He actually has fun killing them. In one instance, he rings the dinner bell to attract the wrong kind of attention. But it is nothing that a shotgun can’t cure.
Then there’s the matter of his anger. He doesn’t have any. He’s one of the most laid-back, zombie-fighting characters on screen. When confronted by a huge horde, he’s smiling through the whole thing wondering if he could get a selfie with one of them before he bashes their brains with a two-by-four.
Yet, if anyone thinks Tallahassee lacks compassion, let’s not forget he is the one who keeps falling for Wichita and Little Rock’s dirty tricks to surrender his gun. He has to help. His nature dictates he has to aid those less able to help themselves. He has that compassion running through him he’d rather not let anyone else see, but he hasn’t a choice when the situation calls for it. He cares about others, even if he shows otherwise.
And you know what? I like Tallahassee. He’s a courageous character. There’s no lying with him. Either you’re for him or against him. None of that wishy-washy “oh, I don’t think we should be doing this” stuff with him. He takes his hits and keeps moving forward.
Have you seen Zombieland? What do you think of Tallahassee?