Rated 4.0

One of the real left-field pleasures of last year, Ruben Fleischer’s relentlessly entertaining Zombieland plays well even without a raucous crowd (Zombieland had one of the most insane preview audiences I’ve ever seen). The great surprise here is that Fleischer creates a legit comedy team out of neurotic adolescent Jesse Eisenberg and cowboy zombie-killer Woody Harrelson. They’re survivors in a post-apocalyptic America populated almost entirely with zombies, and the film works best when it sticks to its Hope-and-Crosby-style, Road to Zombieland dynamic—snug-fitting star turns, quick-hitting comedy pieces, a shocking celeb cameo and a couple of girl grifters (Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin) picked up along the way. Unfortunately, the filmmakers felt obliged to wedge in a third-act crisis that makes absolutely no sense and, of course, left themselves ample wiggle room for a Zombieland 2.