It’s been 10 years since Zombieland became a surprising post-apocalyptic blast. The film instantly formed a family with characters portrayed by Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, Jesse Eisenberg, and Abigail Breslin as Tallahassee, Wichita, Columbus, and Little Rock, respectively. In the time that has passed since Zombieland hit theaters a decade ago, those four cast members went on to have tremendous, blossoming careers, earning recognition from the Academy Awards and beyond. So, does getting the gang back together under director Ruben Fleischer 10 years later recapture the fun and magic for Zombieland: Double Tap? Yes.
Zombieland: Double Tap is a sequel which only die-hard fans of the original Zombieland movie had been asking for, really. Those fans, above all, will walk away the most satisfied. The original batch of characters has not seen any massive overhaul to their personalities, despite having spent 10 years in the apocalypse. A lack of evolution after surviving in the apocalypse might not make too much sense but we're not here for the realism, which makes Double Tap all that much funnier. The characters still have their fair share of disagreements and boneheaded decisions, offering up a good time through the script from Deadpool writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick.
In fact, Zombieland: Double Tap is the perfect re-entry point to this franchise. The cast and crew aren't missing a beat together and the characters are still interesting enough to warrant another outing. This time around, Little Rock is growing up and she’s ready to see what’s out there in the world, so, in true to Zombieland fashion, she decides to head out and the mission of the movie is to rescue her. It’s certainly formulaic for those familiar with the original Zombieland movie but it's framed differently enough to keep the quick 98-minute run time fresh throughout.
Along this journey, we meet the standout of the movie who truly helps things keep moving at an entertaining pace, splashing laughs and heart into the movie in heavy doses. Let’s preface this MVP reveal by saying Harrelson is brilliantly humorous as Tallahassee and Stone’s deadpan delivery on witty lines will leave audiences in stitches. Plus, Luke Wilson and Thomas Middleditch debut as doppelgangers of Tallahassee and Columbus for one of the funniest and most visually impressive sequences. The chemistry with these newcomers is certainly present and Fleischer manages to sneak in a couple of continuous shots, one of which is an epic action sequence, to really engage the audience.
The Zombieland Star of the Year Award goes to Zoey Deutch. Deutch's Madison is the newest addition to the Zombieland ensemble and what could have easily been an annoying attempt at stereotypical, cheap humor ends up becoming one of the most entertaining aspects of Double Tap. She brings a hilariously blissful portrayal of a post-apocalyptic survivor who should have never made it this long in the first place, but we’re glad she did. The enthusiasm never stops with Deutch and while we get plenty of her on screen, we are left wanting more.
All of these actors are enough to carry the film but Fleischer, along with the film's writers, pace each act perfectly with action sequences to split things up. As if on cue, the story is supplemented with zombie-killing goodness—each of which contains heavy doses of blood and zombie vomit—that are directed and edited masterfully. There isn't much a fan of the original Zombieland will want to change about this movie, if anything.
If you liked the first Zombieland, you’re going to enjoy Zombieland: Double Tap, and you’ll definitely like it more than someone who has not seen the original. A handful of jokes call back to the original film, avoiding any hindrance to a newcomer's viewing experience, but supplementing the watch for long-time fans. It's an absolute blast, has non-stop action and heart, and gets two big, bloody zombie thumbs up.
Also, stay through the credits for a treat.0comments
Rating: 5 out of 5
Zombieland: Double Tap hits theaters on October 18th.