It’s uncommon for sequels to live up to their predecessors. Most films find themselves following similar tropes repeating the same story but simply making it larger than before. Zombieland: Double Tap actually strays away from the norm and stands on it’s own in a righteous way. Impressive when you realize its been 10 years since the first.
The first Zombieland, released in 2009, came out during the resurgence of the Zombie genre. The Walking Dead was still a year away so the hunger for more zombie related content was there. The thing that surprised me the most about the original film was the chemistry of the unlikeliest of actors. Woody Harrelson, who’s a damn good actor in his own right, was thrown into a mix of Jessie Eisenberg, Emma Stone pre-Academy Award, and Abigail Breslin. That’s like throwing Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito, Michele Pfieffer and Christopher Walker into a movie together…..umm.
Anyway, back on point, I just couldn’t believe how well these characters worked together in 2009 and wasn’t sure that it would work 10 years later…. Thankfully it did….sorta.
While Harrelson and Eisenberg didn’t seem to miss a step in their on-screen relationship. Something felt off with Stone and Eisenberg. The romance of Wichita and Columbus felt forced and unbelievable early on. In a way though it worked by making the viewer feel as uncomfortable as Wichita seemed. So maybe it was all done for effect…… maybe.
The additions of new characters was definitely refreshing. Zoey Deutch, who plays Madison, was absolutely hilarious as the ditsy yet competent survivor in Z-land.
Rosario Dawson, or Nevada as she is called in the film, brings bad assery to the mix. Seemingly to offset the ignorance and comedy of the other newcomers.
Luke Wilson and Thomas Middleditch are brought on as the better versions of Tallahassee and Columbus…. sorta. And to me, when these four are together the movie is at it’s best.
The story is a sort of a coming of age tale which is something interesting to witness during the Zombie Apocalypse. Tallahassee has sorta made Little Rock, Abigail Breslin, a surrogate daughter. We discover that as she has become a young woman who is more interested in finding companionship and love than spend the rest of her life with an overbearing father figure.
Wichita is struggling with the idea of being tied down in a relationship with Columbus. Thus sending the sisters out on the road running away from those who care about them most.
The fun in this movie is much like that of the first. Columbus’ narration of what has been going on within Z-land the last ten years brings us all up to speed. We find out that the zombies have adapted and for each different type a nickname was given. This adds to the horror aspect a bit since the over-saturation within the genre has made zombies a bit stale.
However, it is hard to completely differentiate itself from other films and shows within the genre. So, instead of putting much focus on those similarities they keep the film very character driven.
Zombieland: Double Tap is a sequel done right. Even after a 10 year hiatus Director Ruben Fleischer was able to capture the same feel as the original. While writers Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick and Dave Callaham don’t miss a beat with the witty and charming tone.
Without a doubt go check it out, especially if you were a fan of the first. You wont be disappointed.
Quick note. Stay during the Credits… its rather enjoyable.