In ZOMBIELAND, the living dead, cannibals, of course, have overrun the U S of A, and while that is a bad thing, at least they have gotten one young man out of the house. On one level, this is a tale of that young mans search for love and the family he always wanted, but never had, while fighting the impossible odds against his survival. On another, its a wickedly funny homage to grindhouse flicks, but with deliberate humor and none of the camp. Well, almost none. The young man is Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), a jittery romantic with a history of supercharged soft drinks, video games, and no social interaction. He has survived the virus that has decimated virtually everyone else by following strict rules, the which he enumerates in a voice over and the which then take on an often puckish life of their own as helpful graphics that illustrate the points Columbus is making. They are many, but they are sensible. Cardio to outrun the zombies (fatties fell first), always check the back seat, and always use the double tap, as in always assume the first shot hasnt made the undead go down for the count. Stricken with a sudden urge to see his family, or at least someone without flesh stuck in his or her zombie teeth, he strikes out from Texas to Ohio through the perilous, zombie-infested countryside, and pairs up with reluctant Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), a man with a talent for killing zombies in inventive ways, a dislike of using real names, and a mighty hankering after snack cakes of a particular kind. The nebbish and the survivalist make for a classic mismatched duo, the former more than a little scared, the latter more than a little irked. Yet, their interpersonal problems pale in comparison to those inflicted on them by Wichita (Emma Stone) and her sister Little Rock (Abigail Breslin), a pair of con artists on their way to Pacific Playland, where theyve heard that the living is zombie-free and the good times are still rolling along with the roller coasters and the Ferris wheel. The cross-country jaunt takes on all the characteristics of a classic family road trip, only with semi-automatic weapons and iffy boundaries. Spritzing cologne becomes an act of aggression, and wanton destruction of tourist trinkets is an emotional catharsis for everyone, including the audience. Mawkish sentiment is turned on its ear while never quite being turned inside out, unlike the victims of zombie hunger and the zombies themselves when they tussle with Tallahassee and Columbus. Its a comic book of a flick, that winks at the audience, congratulating it on being in on the joke. By the time Bill Murray pops up as a version of himself mired in his GHOSTBUSTER glory days and given to an unfortunate penchant for practical jokes, all sense of playing by the rules of this universe have been tossed in favor of an arch black humor that embraces anarchic absurdity with wild abandon. The characters may be stereotypes, but the whip-sharp dialogue and blithely earnest performances render them more fun than predictable. ZOMBIELAND is a wacky celebration of the essential kichtiness of the idiom, and it may just be the sweetest zombie flick ever made, and it manages to pull that off without skimping on the gore, the scares, or silliness.