In 2009, during a time when the gore-infested, gun-wielding, post-apocalyptic zombie genre was only STARTING to become popular, Zombieland stood as quite a different take. Featuring clever writing that spoofed the genre, the movie also had an ensemble cast that featured well-established actors like Woody Harrelson and Abigail Breslin, as well as actors who were reaching popularity into the mainstream like Emma Stone and Jesse Eisenberg. Zombieland quickly became a popular cult classic in the zombie genre, especially in the more comedic route like Shaun of the Dead. We now get to see a new adventure in this world as the band is back together for Zombieland: Double Tap. Was the 10 years of waiting worth it?
Picking up 10 years after the first film, the world is still infested with the flesh-eating zombies as survivors Columbus (Eisenberg), Tallahassee (Harrelson), Witchita (Stone) and Little Rock (Breslin) continue moving across a post-apocalyptic America and notice the undead is evolving into different levels of smartness. However, the group starts to fraction as Little Rock wants to be around people her own age and runs away with a hippie, Berkeley (Avan Jogia). While the remaining three group members go after Little Rock, they come across new survivors, including ditsy blonde Maddison (Zoey Deutch), bad-ass Nevada (Rosario Dawson) and a very similar duo made up of Albuquerque (Luke Wilson) and Flagstaff (Thomas Middleditch).
When it comes to comedy sequels, especially when they have such a long time, they often go the “safe direction” by being a carbon copy of the first movie or go in a more meta direction and acknowledge that its a sequel. Zombieland: Double Tap finds a spot somewhere in between. Not only do the four leads come back with the same perfect chemistry, but the same creative team is back as well with a different level of experience to the table. Director Ruben Fleischer (Venom) and writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick (Deadpool 1 & 2) bring back the fast-paced action of the first film, while also throwing in some meta comments on how the landscape of zombie movies has grown and changed.
The film brings some new set-pieces that add some variety to the universe. Seeing Tallahassee in the President’s chair while the crew takes residence in the White House was among the chuckle-worthy moments. The new characters also create some variety that brings some hit or miss laughs. Maddison, in particular, has some eye-rolling moments, as well as a breakdown of the famous “Z-Land Rules” and comparing them to doppelgänger Flagstaff’s “Commandments” that goes longer than it needs to.
Overall, Zombieland: Double Tap is a solid follow-up to the first film that still captures the fun dynamic of the four leads and has some clever and funny moments sprinkled throughout. However, the movie doesn’t always land comedically, especially with some of the new characters. I can definitely recommend the film to fans of the first movie who want to revisit the goofy post-apocalyptic universe. But make sure to stick around for the mid-credits scene.
Rating: ★★★ out of 5
Zombieland: Double Tap is in cinemas now.