Rueben Fleischer’s Zombieland gave us his version of a zombie apocalypse in 2009 and it proved to be a success. Elevated by a snappy script written by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, of Deadpool fame, the film was a surprise box office hit. A decade later, the trio are back to give us an update on the motley crew’s gore-splattered lives in Zombieland: Double Tap.
Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), Wichita (Emma Stone) and her sister Little Rock (Abigail Breslin), has settled into as normal a life as they can after the zombie outbreak. Columbus and Wichita have paired up, Little Rock has grown up, and Tallahassee is well, the same. Taking refuge in the actual White House, which is abandoned, they are a happy little makeshift family amidst the tough zombie world.
When Columbus decides to pop the question to Wichita, she gets cold feet and, with her sister in tow, heads for the hills. Little Rock, intent on leading her own life at 18, leaves her sister high and dry in turn when she meets Berkley (Avan Jogia), a guitar-strumming hippie. Little Rock and Berkley take off to Graceland and beyond, and what ensues is a crazy chase as the rest gang looks for the couple and confronts love, meaning and a new zombie threat.
Zombieland: Double Tap, to this reviewer, is a slightly better film than the first. The plot is not rocket science by any means and the film features borderline frat boy (read eyeroll) humor; but it also has loads of energy, splatter and warp speed laughs. There wasn’t a beat to be missed.
The introduction of Rosario Dawson as Nevada, the tough proprietor of an Elvis-themed hotel was a nice touch; although the ditzy but charming Madison, played by Zoey Deutch, was the butt of one too many dumb blond jokes for my liking. The first film had some great set pieces like the amusement park zombie showdown and they just get bigger and badder in this second installment. Look for the play on doubles with a couple of new characters, Luke Wilson’s Albuquerque and Thomas Middleditch as Flagstaff. They give life (or death) to a fantastic fight scene with great camera work.
Go see Zombieland: Double Tap for revved up zombie action. There are plenty of references to the first film and it’s worth staying for the end credits.