Back in 2009, Zombieland was released in cinemas and it brought a new take on the zombie formula.
The film had a charismatic cast and effective use of comedy that endeared the film to many people, thus being dubbed a cult classic and a highlight of the zombie genre.
Ten years later, the sequel, Zombieland: Double Tap, is finally out. In those 10 years, the zombie genre has seen a deluge of media from movies to TV shows to the point where it has reached an over-saturation. While Zombieland: Double Tap doesn’t really bring anything new to the table, it is a worthy albeit somewhat flawed sequel.
Zombieland: Double Tap follows Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), Wichita (Emma Stone), and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) on their quest to survive the zombie apocalypse while facing newly evolved zombies, fellow survivors, and at the same time deal with the struggles of their makeshift family.
All four of the lead actors return to reprise their roles and for the most part, they do a good job.
The thing that made the first film so great was the chemistry and banter the four of them had with each other. It may have been 10 years since the original, but they still work well together and each of them brings something different to their dynamic. They treat each other as a family at this point, though one that is highly dysfunctional. Still, they do care for one another.
The new characters are also a welcome addition here. Luke Wilson as Albuquerque and Thomas Middleditch as Flagstaff deliver small but memorable roles. They aren’t in the movie for long but make the most of their screen time. A one-take scene featuring the both of them as well as Tallahassee and Columbus is a standout and one of the highlights of this film. Rosario Dawson’s Nevada, a badass who has a soft spot for Elvis, and Avan Jogia’s Berkeley, a peace-loving hippie, are also nice additions to the movie though it would have been appreciated for a little bit more character background, especially for Nevada.
The real star of the show, however, is Zoey Deutch as the dumb but sweet Madison.
Her character is the caricature of the dumb blonde stereotype and Zoey plays her so well. She is a scene-stealer in every scene she is in and is incredibly funny. The biggest laughs from the movie will most likely come from her. She is arguably the best part of this movie and manages not to come off as too annoying so that the audience can like her.
Just like the original, Zombieland: Double Tap manages to blend the zombie comedy theme well.
The greatest strength of the movie is how funny it is. It’s a fun ride from start to finish and rarely is there a boring moment in between. Despite being set in a zombie apocalypse, the film doesn’t take itself too seriously and leans more on the lighter side of the apocalypse.
The film isn’t without its flaws though and the biggest of them is that it has quite a few underdeveloped themes and ideas.
The movie introduces a place called Babylon, a safe haven from zombies where no guns are allowed, and everyone loves peace. While the premise of Babylon is interesting, the movie doesn’t expand its background or the people who live in it. It feels more like just a setting the main characters have to go to instead of an interesting place with interesting ideas to explore.
The film dedicates its opening act to introduce the different kinds of zombies in the world of Zombieland and while the new, more evolved, and stronger, zombies are given their moment, the other kinds are not. The introduction of a smart zombie called the Hawking and a stealthy zombie called Ninja would have made for some interesting scenarios in the movie but they are barely used at all.
An interesting idea the film tries to discuss is how the four lead characters deal with each other and the bonds they have formed, such as Little Rock wanting to be with people of her age. But the way in which these plot points are resolved is done in a rushed manner, it feels like the movie just glosses over these issues and doesn’t really explore them further. By the end, the film just goes as if all their problems have been resolved without actually taking the time to address them fully.
To sum it up, Zombieland: Double Tap delivers on the fun and laughs but not so much on everything else.
Unlike the original, Double Tap isn’t a groundbreaking story but it’s an enjoyable movie to watch. The movie is funny, the four leads still have good chemistry with one another, and the character of Madison stands out as the best things Double Tap has to offer.