Movie Review: ‘Zombieland – Double Tap’

Director: Ruben Fleischer

Cast: Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Abigail Breslin, Emma Stone, Rosario Dawsom, Zoey Beutch, Avan Jogia

Plot: Ten years after the Mad Cow Disease mutated into a zombie virus Tallahassee, Columbus, Wichita and Little Rock have set up base in the White House. Just as they begin settling into a comfortable routine, personal conflicts force them all back onto the road.

Review: Yeah, ten years. This sequel dragged its feet in getting into cinemas, possibly because the TV series went into production and failed to launch. And most of the cast were getting nominated for Oscars, as the trailers inform us, tongue firmly in cheek. Zombieland was actually intended to be a TV series from the start, with The Walking Dead appearing in screens a year after the movie was released. The original is fun, performed well and left itself well open for a sequel.

We can wrap this review up quite quickly. Do want to see a bit more of the world set up in the original? Great, go see it. If not, maybe give it a pass. What works best in the film is getting to see other parts of the world and learning about new groups of survivors. It doesn’t go much in depth into any of them, but it’s good fun.

The film starts with Columbus (Eisenberg) catching us up to speed on events in ‘Zombieland’. Zombies have started to mutate, leading to a number of new types of zombies, including the big, dumb ‘Homers’ and surprisingly smart ‘Hawkins’. Not that this matters, because these new types barely get mentioned moving forward. It’s all in aid of setting up the ‘T-800s’, a deadlier zombie that takes more than a few bullets to take down. Not that this matters because by the time we get to the finale none of them put up much fight.

Columbus, Tallahassee (Harrelson), Wichita (Stone) and Little Rock (Breslin) have taken control of the White House and loaded it up with treasures of all kinds. They fall into a weird domestic routine and are mostly happy. Little Rock has grown up and is getting impatient with Tallahassee treating her like a child. Meanwhile, Wichita is left confused with Columbus’ sudden proposal. The sisters pack up and leave during the night, leaving Columbus heartbroken. During a supply raid on a shopping mall they met airhead Madison (Beutch). Just as Madison and Columbus hook up, Wichita arrives back to seek help in finding a wayward Little Rock, who left to travel with a hippy, Berkeley (Jorgia).

With everyone back on the road we fall back into a familiar pattern of travelling from place to place and killing zombies in fun ways. On the way to find Little Rock at a hippy commune, Babylon, they encounter Elvis fan Nebraska (Dawson), an oddly familiar duo in Albuquerque and Flagstaff (Luke Wilson and Thomas Middleditch) and the aforementioned pacifist colony Babylon. There’s plenty more comedy than there is zombie-killing action, and the climatic fortress defence is clumsily and hurriedly set-up. An action highlight is a fight through an Elvis themed motel with excellent use of sets and invisible cuts in the edit. It’s a real stand out in technical production.

This is more a companion piece to the original rather than a true sequel. But if you’re looking for more of the same than you’re in luck. The cast still have strong chemistry and have an easy comedic rhythm. It does feel like we’re picking up where we left off.

Rating: SIX out of TEN