Zombieland: Double Tap
By James Davidson
“Zombieland: Double Tap” is the sequel to 2009’s cult hit, “Zombieland”. The “Zombieland” franchise follows unlikely survivor, Columbus (played by Jesse Eisenburg) as he manages life in a post-apocalyptic, zombie-infested wasteland. Together with his friends, Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), Wichita (Emma Stone), and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin), Columbus learns how to survive the barren wasteland, deal with the loss of his loved ones, and overcomes his fears, of which he has many. This second installment in the series follows the four friends as they continue their adventure and search for more survivors and an eventual permanent home.
The first “Zombieland” was a surprising success, I loved the way that it combined classic zombie tropes with comedy. I was really hoping that this second installment would continue in the comedic footsteps of the first. I like the actors’ chemistry with each other, as well as the world that the franchise has built.
This second movie takes place ten years after the events of the first “Zombieland”. The four friends have grown and changed, while setting up a home in the abandoned White House. Everything seems to be going well; Columbus and Wichita are in a happy relationship, and Tallahassee and Little Rock have an interesting father-daughter type-of relationship. Things take a bad turn when Columbus decides to propose to Wichita and Tallahassee starts to smother teenaged Little Rock. The girls decide to venture out on their own and sneak away, leaving the guys behind to find their own way in the barren wasteland.
While out in Zombieland, the girls encounter another young survivor named Berkeley, who instantly woos Little Rock. The three companions quickly discover that there are new, smarter, and more highly-evolved zombies that present a new, more dangerous threat to the surviving humans. Berkeley and Little Rock run away from Wichita to find a fabled commune filled with peace-loving survivors called Babylon. Wichita returns to Columbus and Tallahassee and persuade them to to help find her runaway sister. During their journey to find and save Little Rock and warn the commune about an approaching zombie hoard, the three friends meet a number of new survivors. Some become funny new friends and allies, while others are definitely people to beware of.
This installment was very similar to the original movie; it had an identical type of humor, the same great chemistry between the characters, and the same tongue-in-cheek violent zombie kills. If you thought the first “Zombieland” was good, you will probably like the second one as well. Unfortunately, this movie doesn’t do much to improve upon the story. It’s fairly predictable with a very simple storyline. The characters develop very little and what developments do occur, happen in a very predictable manner. However, the humor and the character’s interactions with each other makes up for the lack of a “meaty” plot.
There is quite a bit of violence throughout this movie, mostly in the form of gory zombie kills. The gore is obviously satirical and flippant, however, and some of the zombie kills bring a few laughs to the audience. Intermittently, the movie shows the “Zombie Kill of the Week” which presents zombies being killed in progressively, amusing ways. The gore, along with pervasive language and some sexual content earns the movie an R rating. It wouldn’t be appropriate for young children.
If you haven’t seen the first “Zombieland” movie, I suggest you see it before going to see this one. There are a lot of references and jokes that rely on a knowledge of events in the first film.
“Zombieland: Double Tap” is a hilarious sequel to a cult classic. It is just as good as the first movie, but unfortunately doesn’t improve the franchise in any way. If you liked the first installment of this comedic horror franchise you will definitely like the second just as much. It has great humor that is to be expected from this franchise and the character interaction is a lot of fun to watch. Even if the storyline is a little weak and predictable, it’s still an enjoyable movie. It earns 3 out of 5 stars.