The zombie comedy is hardly fresh territory (and really, will anyone top Shaun of the Dead?) but the creators of Zombieland (Sony) do a fine job of mining the humor inherent in the end of the world. Jesse Eisenberg is the loner college geek who finds that his obsessive-compulsive instincts are just what he needs to survive a world gone wild. He puts together his simple rules for survival and goes off in search of… what, we’re not really sure, but he’s happy to discover another warm body when the gun-toting Woody Harrelson comes careening down the wreck-filled highway and gives him a lift. This redneck madman takes a more devil-may-care approach (zombie-bashing as sport) while Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin, a cagey pair they find in a supermarket stop, have simply adapted their mercenary skills to life after people.
Think of Zombieland (as in “We are now the United States of Zombieland”) as I Am Legend as a road movie comedy. First-time feature director Ruben Fleischer moves it along with decent momentum while punctuating the sardonic humor with cheeky graphics that flash and crash on screen, and he certainly doesn’t skimp on the splatter or the sport. But it’s a character piece at heart and these oddballs discover that, emotional baggage and survival scars aside, there’s something to be said for human companionship in a world where every other living thing wants to eat you.