It has been ten years since the most fucked up family in Zombieland took us on a tour of their zombie infested world, and things have changed...a bit. The zombies have evolved, there are now different kinds, and the guys have given them appropriate nicknames. But even with Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) moving into a fancy new house, all is not well in zombie paradise. And when Little Rock runs off with a boy, the gang are forced to head off on another dysfunctional road trip.
After the success of Zombieland, it was highly likely - inevitable almost - that the people at Sony would want to try and catch lightning in a bottle for a second time. There's no denying that it's great to see Eisenberg, Harrelson, Stone and Breslin together again. Especially under the guidance of Ruben Fleischer, Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. Much like "Shaun of the Dead", Zombieland took a very marmite subject - the undead - and made it fun for a wider audience. Living in a zombie infested world actually looked enjoyable - undoubtedly a first for the genre. So a return to this world was a welcome idea. It's a shame then that while Double Tap is fun, it fails to capture the magic of the first movie.
As with all sequels Fleischer is able to expand on this colourful, post-apocalyptic world. We're introduced to new survivors and the different ways they've adapted to life in Zombieland. But the focus will always be with our heroes. All four actors have slipped back into their roles perfectly, and they bounce off of each other like they've been together these past ten years. The problem is they don't really do anything new with the characters, and events closely mirror those of the first movie. Some relationship trouble between Wichita and Columbus feels forced, however it does eventually result in a few good laughs as they continue to dig at each other. That said, there are some good action scenes, a monster truck is put to some good use, and the montage in which the gang take the White House is the kind of bloody fun Zombieland is known for. We're also treated to some more award-winning zombie kills - one involving brilliant use of a combine harvester. However, what you should really look out for is Bill Murray's hysterical end credits cameo.
With the focus on the gang doing pretty much what they did in the first movie, everything new that Double Tap brings to the table goes - for the most part - unexplored. From the start we're told that the zombies have adapted to their environment, with the guys coming up with a classification system to identify the different types. It's definitely a funny system, one with some interesting name choices, but it's only ever used once and has little to no impact on events. Even the new "unkillable" "T-800" zombie is over-hyped and under utilised. The same goes for most of the new characters. Rosario Dawson's "Nevada" just isn't given much to do and falls victim to some rather clichéd storylines. While Luke Wilson's "Albuquerque" and Thomas Middleditch's "Flagstaff" are limited to a joke about their odd resemblance/rivalry with Tallahassee and Columbus. The only new character that really gets enough screen time is Madison (Zoey Deutch). Madison's OTT personality allows Deutch to steal almost every scene, and it's rather funny watching her annoy the shit out of Tallahassee, not to mention befuddling everyone else.
Following up a classic like Zombieland was always going to be a challenge. And in spite of its problems, Double Tap is amusing, gory and action-packed. However it all but fails to do anything new with the franchise, and isn't really worth the ten year wait.
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