Shaun (Simon Pegg) is going nowhere in life. He's a 29-year-old sales manager at a London electronics store populated by teenage employees who don't respect him. His girlfriend Liz (Kate Ashfield), tired of her beau's adolescent slackerdom and penchant for wining and dining her at the unromantic Winchester Tavern, has unceremoniously dumped him. And his best friend and roommate Ed (Nick Frost) is a lazy slob who plays videogames all day long, doesn't pay rent, regularly impersonates the orangutan from Every Which Way But Loose, and offers beneficial break-up advice like, "You know what we should do tomorrow? Keep drinking." Shaun, unmotivated and irresponsible, spends his dead-end days like a zombie. That is, until real zombies start showing up in his back yard.

In Edgar Wright's Shaun of the Dead, zombie-smashing antics serve as backdrop for the maturation of couch potato Shaun, who learns to embrace accountability and responsibility during his journey to save Liz and his dear ol' mum (Penelope Wilton) from the hordes of walking corpses infesting metropolitan London. With a cricket bat in hand and wise-cracking Ed at his side, Shaun embarks on his daring rescue mission with annoyed nonchalance, and his general disgust at having to do something, anything, besides sitting slack-jawed in front of the television is the comedic lifeblood of Wright's tongue-in-cheek parody of zombie movie conventions and big-budget Hollywood moviemaking. Shooting for gut-busting humor instead of stomach-churning terror, the film is awash in absurdity. Shaun's general catatonic demeanor causes him to miss the initial warning signs of London's apocalyptic state of affairs, and, once he finally does grasp the situation's severity, his reluctant heroism is tinged with irritability at being inconvenienced. When it comes time to destroy the monsters, Shaun does so with a blasé attitude that makes his gallantry less a stirring act of self-realization than a fart-infused, brain-squashing goof-off.

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