Title: Zombieland: Double Tap
Release Date: October 18th, 2019
Studio: Sony Pictures
Director: Ruben Fleischer
Release Format: Theatrical
Zombieland: Double Tap is an outrageous sequence of guns, gore, and gags that attack the senses. It’s a sequel that goes full blonde in more ways than one.
This sequel revolves around the characters from the original, Columbus, Tallahassee, and Wichita being on a search across the country for Little Rock. They meet a host of eccentric figures and even more disfigured zombies ready to chew them limb from limb.
Double Tap is a quick draw when it comes to rapid-fire jokes, unfortunately, a lot of them end up being blanks. While there are many big laughs I got from this, they were separated by weak chuckles from so-so gags.
There are still enough cleverly written lines and gags here that remind me why I wanted a sequel for so long. But, the movie is held down by a barebones plot that seems thrown together. It’s less of a story and more like some SNL skits tied loosely together by hope, the hope that it’ll all make sense.
Zombieland: Double Tap Writes Itself
Writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick penned the original, before moving on to write both Deadpool movies. Both series have a lot in common as the originals were great subversive films in their genre. Then, you have the sequels which… have a two in the title?
The story here is the video game equivalent of when a player gets distracted from the main plot and does a bunch of random quests. This clashes with the sense of urgency Wichita (Emma Stone) constantly brings up about finding her sister.
Double Tap sets up new zombie types like the Homer, basically dumb zombies that exist for comedic relief. Then, there’s the T-800, which won’t stop until they get their target, are nearly invisible and smarter than a guy saying “you’re right” in an argument with his girl.
The original Zombieland had some effective tension at points and the T-800’s were set to bring that back. It’s so weird how the film sets them up as a big threat and they just become like any other zombies.
The climax sets up our protagonists against impossible odds, where you wonder what clever way they will overcome it. The answer is “don’t worry about it” as the script didn’t and wrapped things up neater than present on Christmas.
Speaking of the lack of investment, the film doesn’t really do a good job of making you care for any of the characters or plot. It assumes you saw the first and just gets right into things. This is not to say the characters aren’t funny but everything just feels rushed. I just saw you after a decade Zombieland and you’re already trying to dip like seeing an ex at the store.
Talk isn’t Cheap, it’s Funny
One of the film’s biggest strengths is the interactions between characters. I’m not talking about the manufactured conflict featured here where you can see the resolution a mile away. No, it’s the banter where Double Tap thrives as a film.
Just watching Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) and Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) go back and forth is gold. The latter’s brashness colliding with the sheepish nature of the other doesn’t get old. The real treat is watching them interact with the newer faces this time around.
The writers seemed bored with the old characters, becoming more evident as the new faces get the best jokes. Madison (Zoey Deutch) is a character I adored as her airhead trope being taking to new heights. A joke that could have been one-note, not only had longevity but also had me looking forward to whenever Madison appears.
The action here is fine, nothing to write home about– or in this case you readers. The original didn’t have the best shot action, but it had fun and creative sequences to make up for it. That doesn’t exist here as it just straight forward,
Everyone here is clearly having fun and not taking it seriously. Some scenes feel like outtakes with how good and real the chemistry feels. The actors aren’t taking the story seriously and neither should you this time around, for better or worse.
Verdict: Watching Zombieland: Double Tap had its flaws and yet, I still came out enjoying it. The script has many moments where it’ll catch you off guard, knocking you off your feet with a hilarious joke. The interactions between characters are what keeps this going.
If you catch this at a matinee time, it would be worth a watch for some fun dumb action and jokes. Otherwise, there’s no need to run to the theatre to see this like you’re in a horror movie, take your time as a zombie would.
What’s your favorite zombie comedy? What’s the best zombie flick of all time? What are your thoughts on the original Zombieland? Leave your comments!
- Fun interactions
- Great gags
- The best after-credits scene in history
- Plot you say?
- Bad acting
- Disappointing climax
- No characters, just mouthpieces for jokes