Monday, October 21

Zombieland: Double Tap Review

Zombieland: Double Tap
Dir: Ruben Fleischer
Starring: Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, Jesse Eisenberg, Abigail Breslin, and Zooey Deutch

It’s been a decade since “Zombieland” brought a humorous and horror-filled spin to the living dead mythology, crafting a film that would become a shining moment for the overabundant zombie subgenre of horror.

The film introduced a group of rag-tag survivors living in an apocalyptic world who form a makeshift family while battling hordes of zombies roaming throughout the U.S. Led by Tallahassee, a fantastic Woody Harrelson hamming it up with glee, and assisted by Emma Stone, Jesse Eisenberg, and Abigail Breslin, each with a city-specific name, “Zombieland” had enough gore, enough good laughs, and more than enough fun to execute a horror-comedy effectively.

It’s amazing that in today’s oversaturated, sequel-ready film world that “Zombieland: Double Tap” would take a decade to come to life. While it’s been 10 years in real life, with an Oscar win for Ms. Stone and some performance nominations for Harrelson and Eisenberg, the film doesn’t skip a beat in stepping right back into the zombie world with all the major players returning including some new friends tagging along for the fun.

Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), Wichita (Emma Stone), and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) are looking for a place to call home, after battling a group of zombies with all manner of weaponry they lay claim to an abandoned White House. While Columbus and Wichita work on their blossoming romantic relationship and Tallahassee seems content making modifications on his vehicle, Little Rock is having growing pains coming to terms with life in Zombieland.

“Zombieland: Double Tap” is trying to check all the boxes that helped turn the first film into a cult classic. While trying to bring the fun horror moments, which it does with slow-motion living dead carnage and improved super zombies with a particularly clever name, along with heaping amounts of humor, mostly bragging banter from Woody Harrelson and the scene-stealing role of Zooey Deutch playing a dimwitted survivor named Madison, this sequel does a good job of focusing on having as much fun as it possibly can.

While it does a good job of distracting for a quick 99-minute run time, the film lacks any cohesive sense of narrative direction; where the first film focused on the group dynamic and how one would survive in a world filled with flesh-eating zombies, this film becomes a road trip film that never really knows where it’s going. Even when it arrives at its eventual destination in the final act, the film doesn’t know how it got there or what to do to wrap everything up. Part of this is because of the lack of chemistry written for the characters and also because the film never seems to aim for these specific narrative results, this sequel feels wholly content trying to recreate everything that made fans love the original. While it entertains just enough, it doesn’t have the same memorable quality of the original film.

“Zombieland: Double Tap” may not have much direction but it brings back all the familiar humor and horror that made the original film such a hit. It also makes sure to add some welcome characters, like Rosario Dawson playing an Elvis loving fangirl named Nevada, and fresh gags, like a funny look at zombie deaths from around the world, to make it feel new even though it doesn’t really do anything new at all. 

Monte’s Rating
2.75 out of 5.00

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