Zombieland: Double Tap
Zombieland: Double Tap
Rating3.0 / 5
Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone
17 October 2019
Ruben Fleischer fails to recapture the raunchy magic of before but does enough to leave us with some laughs.
The first Zombieland wasn’t a masterpiece, but it did the zombie movie a great service by poking and pinching itself. It knew it was silly and ran with it. The plot powered forward, through head-smashings and amputations. Its characters made some sort of journey. The dialogue was smart. It made big bucks at the box office. So inevitably we get the sequel, Zombieland: Double Tap, and as is expected with such follow-ups, it’s not as good as the first one.
There really isn’t a plot this time. It’s been ten years, I suppose, since the zombies first emerged. Our four heroes – Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) – have settled into a quasi-domestic situation, taking up residence in The White House.
The trouble begins when Columbus proposes to Wichita, who, if you recall from the first movie, is strong and independent and would most likely take to marriage like a bird to a fan. Spooked, she flees with Little Rock. So kicks off the plot, or rather a series of loosely connected events as Tallahassee and Columbus set off after them. They are joined by a newcomer, Madison (Zoey Deutch), whose entire character image can be summed up by the way she says, “That’s like sor narsty“.
Alas, Madison is symptomatic of Double Tap’s shortcomings. If I enjoyed Madison’s goofy nonsense, it’s because Zoey Deutch does well to sell it. Similarly, Harrelson, Eisenberg, Stone and Breslin do well to sell their chemistry.
Zombieland: Double Tap is entertaining because its actors are entertaining. This is only their second time together in these roles, but already there’s the sense that their connections run deep. They’re so at ease with each other it’s endearing. We get drawn in to the things they say, and the way they say them, without ever really caring about what’s happening around them.
Sure, lots of zombies get their heads blown off and their body parts are flattened by heavy objects, but most of the time I forgot they were even around. The movie, from returning directing Ruben Fleischer, darts single-mindedly for comedy, more so than the first one. There is not a moment here that invokes feelings of fear or dread. The zombies exist only to be re-killed.
What else is there to say about a movie in which characters move from A to B to C, say funny things and are regularly harassed by video-game monsters? I could point to the action and visual effects, but neither is clever or convincing. The CGI in particular is often questionable, and the action is diluted to chases, punches and gunshots. All that’s left are the performances and the humour, which thankfully create a point of interest. If I had to, I’d go to another one of these for Tallahassee, Columbus, Wichita and Little Rock. The zombies I could do without.
Images courtesy of Sony Pictures