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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