Let’s get this out of the way right now: Zombieland did not need a sequel. It has a self-contained story that didn’t require an epilogue. And when one didn’t happen right away, that didn’t bode well. Long-awaited sequels are usually disappointments, and flash-in-the-pan movies like Zombieland usually don’t get strong follow-ups. Lightning doesn’t strike twice, as they say. But now we have Zombieland: Double Tap, which may not be a second bolt but at least contains enough of the energy created by the initial strike to entertain for the brief time it lasts.
All of that is a long, roundabout way of saying Zombieland: Double Tap is worse than the original but not to the point that it’s a bad movie. If you were longing for a reunion for the four leads of the original, and just wanted to watch them go around America killing zombies, riffing, and solving interpersonal conflicts, all without taking anything seriously, then you’ll be satisfied. If you wanted something more, you won’t be. This is a hangout movie that happens to have some zombies in it.
The story, for what it’s worth, opens up several years after the original ended. The quartet of heroes are living in the White House, relatively comfortable and succumbing to domestic life. Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) and Wichita (Emma Stone) are a couple, while Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) have a father-daughter thing going on. One thing leads to another, Little Rock goes missing, and it’s up to the remaining three to go out searching for her. Along the way they explore and resolve issues between them, meet new characters like dumb-blonde stereotype Madison (Zoey Deutch), and we all have a good laugh along with them.
There’s almost nothing more to Zombieland: Double Tap. The issues it does explore are light, there’s almost no tension, about half the jokes land, and the deciding factor as to whether or not you’ll like it is whether or not you like the cast/characters and if you want to see another movie with them. If you do, great! It’s that. If you don’t, or wanted to see them develop into anything other than generic archetypes, you probably won’t like it. And since it’s not as fresh as the original and, at least in my opinion, not as funny, you’re really going to need to want to hang out with these people for another 90 minutes in order to make the experience worthwhile.
Outside of that, I don’t know what you want from me. There are some creative zombie kills, I suppose, and a couple of new types of zombies. It would have been fun if those got explored in a little more depth, but that’s true of the movie as a whole. It isn’t interested in anything more than surface and therefore there isn’t a lot to talk about. Why do you think I wrote a long introduction that barely mentioned the movie? It’s because the movie is largely nothing. It’s disposable in every sense of the word. Including the rotting flesh kind. Get it? ‘Cause zombies. Thanks for the pity laugh.
Zombieland: Double Tap is a fun enough movie if you enjoy the characters and the zombie setting, but it has nothing going on beneath the surface. Really, it has little going on above it, either. It’s just a bunch of characters hanging out and killing zombies—it’s not much more than that. Still, that’s fun enough if it’s what you’re in the mood for, and I enjoyed it for what it is. Just don’t go in expecting anything more than that and you’ll be in for a decent time.
Conclusion: Zombieland: Double Tap is a hangout movie whose success will lie on whether or not you like the people with whom you’re hanging out.
Recommendation: If you liked the characters from the first film, the sequel will be fun enough to be worth your time.
- Rating - 6/106/10