Zombieland was a wonderful good time, and if you haven’t seen it yet, please do–it is a good romp through post-apocalyptic hilarity. Unlike, of course, Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, which I finished reading at the other end of this weekend. I finished The Road in one night–about the time to view Zombieland twice–after trying to put it down about halfway through. I just couldn’t stop reading.Basically I went from low to high brow entertainment (insert The Designated Mourner tangent here), both including some similar themes.
Most post-apocalyptic ruminations focus on survival, and how their characters suffer through, and find a way to achieve that paticular brass ring (since that is the only thing that could be considered success at the end of the day). No one gives that hopless concept more thought, and grim exactness than McCarthy. His world has no hope. At all. Anywhere. The best part about the novel, is how you’re still drawn into the story with that acknowledgement of hopelessness upfront, and it still maintains a grip on your throat, and sticks with you for days (weeks and counting).
Zombieland, as a comedy, right off the bat exists for hope. Hope that these characters can come together, that they can grow and care about each other, and get out alive–and be human as possible in a world filled with nothing but zombies. In a hopeless world, even Bill Murray can make a life out of it, which is what The Man really tries to do in The Road when he’s saying they’re the good guys. There’s no question in Zombieland who we’re rooting for, but the decisions in The Road are difficult, for the characters and the reader alike, because the adversaries are still technically human. Though at times it is easy to see the zombie-esque similarities, there is no doubt that most humans have been hit by a nature change in order to surivive in their new environment, rather than a viral infection or something else remotely sci-fi. Making the projection of The Other, a little more difficult to stomach, or excuse.
Any further comparison between these two pieces seems a little out of place: they’re vastly different in medium and intention. But survival drives both of the pieces, and the most chilling aspect that they have in common, is their ending. The apocalypse never gets “solved”–you’ve just got to find new ways to adapt and move on.
Speaking of adaptions, I can’t wait to see the film version in November.