The ten years in the making sequel, Zombieland: Double Tap, suffers in comparison to its predecessor and I guess that’s no surprise. Thankfully, it doesn’t suffer too much. The humor and smartly placed celebrity cameos found in the original film are on tap here, no pun intended, and catching up with these characters is somewhat akin to getting up to speed with friends from long ago. Still, there’s no denying the shifts in popular culture during the last decade and how they’ve affected the new installment of Zombieland. With zombies playing a part in so much of the entertainment that’s being consumed these days, I suppose it’s not a surprise that the film lacks a certain kind of freshness that it might have been able to hold on to had it been released a lot earlier. Nevertheless, it works well enough and there’s a lot to embrace in this second adventure, even if it can’t equal the giddy highs of what came before.
The film’s subtitle, Double Tap, plays heavily in the plot. Voiceovers catch us up on what’s been happening in the last ten years since we left off and one thing that’s revealed is that the zombies have now mutated to some degree. In fact, they’re a bit harder to kill and now require a ‘doubletap’ of the shotgun trigger in order to get the job done. That, of course, is only one of the problems the quartet face.
It seems that not only have the zombies mutated but the dynamics of this makeshift family have also morphed quite a bit. For one thing there’s the continuing romance of Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) and Wichita (Emma Stone). Columbus thinks that marriage should be on the table, but Wichita doesn’t share his sentiments. Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) also longs for someone to spend his life with even if he won’t admit it and finally get his chance when he happens upon fellow Elvis fan, Nevada (Rosario Dawson). Meanwhile, Wichita’s sis, Little Rock (Abigail Breslin), leaves the family fold when she takes up with modern day hippie, Berkely (Avan Jogia), and the two head to his commune for a life of supposed romantic bliss. Columbus also briefly considers a romance with the perpetually airheaded girl he meets, Madison (Zoey Deutch), in another subplot that kinda falls flat.
Throughout the proceedings the characters battle zombies, battle each other and unite in their pursuit to rescue Little Rock from the hippie commune in which she’s chosen to live. Along the way they also tangle with two zombie killing cowpokes, Albuquerque (Luke Wilson) and Flagstaff (Thomas Middleditch), who happen to cross their paths.
It must be mentioned that viewers will need to continue to sit when the credits roll if they want to catch the biggest celebrity cameos. It will become readily obvious why it’s basically a post credits sequence, but that’s okay. It will provide a few laughs for those who really dug the original Zombieland, and that much is guaranteed.
Zombieland: Double Tap is playing everywhere.
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