Zombieland: Double Tap
Zombieland: Double Tap recaptures that same gore-filled energy and excitement from Ruben Fleischer's first film, thanks to its returning cast and crew. Double Tap doubles down on the action, the violence and comedy to make for that rare sequel that actually warrants existing.
Director Ruben Fleischer re-teams with writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick (in addition to Dave Callaham) for Zombieland: Double Tap, which brings back Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin as our favorite zombie-slayers continue to live their life in an infected and barren landscape. The return to Z-Land comes ten years after the original arrived, which gave us a zombie film that was fast, funny and fresh unlike anything before it.
Zombieland: Double Tap continues in that same vein, doubling down on the action, the gore and the comedy. It reintroduces us to the characters that we have grown to love over the past decade, catching us up to speed on their latest adventures and of course — reminding us of the rules of Zombieland and those memorable zombie kills of the week.
What made Zombieland so great was the all-around effectiveness of the cast and crew. Director Ruben Fleischer brought a kinetic energy to the film that felt fast-paced and fresh, thanks to his pair of writers (Reese & Wernick), which suited the core four actors perfectly. Woody Harrelson might be considered the show-stealer, but Emma Stone and Jesse Eisenberg definitely help round out the film with humor and perspective.
Admittedly, Abigail Breslin kind of takes a back seat in Double Tap, but that’s not extremely far off from her role in the first film.
Double Tap basically picks up where the first film left off, introducing us to a few new classes of zombies, while continuing to follow the characters as they’ve settled down and became a family. The only real problem is that Little Rock and Wichita don’t appear to be as settled down as Tallahassee and Columbus, which introduces a few more characters to the mix as well as the driving plot of the film.
Yes, most of Double Tap is a rehash of the first film, but done in a way that feels just as funny and energetic as the first film, bringing us back to a time where zombie content was fun and forward-thinking. A lot has changed over the past decade, yet Double Tap isn’t afraid to be nostalgic, while also creative in its advancements.
I can see some people disliking this film’s familiarity, but I honestly felt that it was much-needed and sort of refreshing. There are new characters and new rules brought into the fold, which keeps the film progressing and not holding too tightly on past jokes or situations.
Double Tap also features an uptick in blood and gore, with tons of creative kills and fun moments that at least show the budget hard at work. I’d be lying if I said that Zombieland: Double Tap reinvents how we look at sequels, but I’d also be lying if I said that I wasn’t laughing my ass off and generally having a great time catching up with a world taken over completely by zombies and colorful characters.
The character of Madison (Zoey Deutch) helps drive a barrier between Columbus and Wichita, which helps create some great back-and-forth comedy that helps fill the film’s slower moments, which aren’t many.
The entire Babylon sequence feels like a hard jab at The Walking Dead, while also a cool way to get creative with zombie kills — which is what the first film consistently did and Double Tap tends to follow in its footsteps.
I’m glad Ruben Fleischer was able to get the original writers and the entire cast back for another round in Zombieland, because Double Tap is proof that you can wait a decade to make a sequel without it feeling like a complete cash grab.
Zombieland: Double Tap doubles down on everything that made Zombieland so much fun, while introducing new characters, new scenarios and new zombie kills of the week that are surely going to have you jumping out of your seat. It doesn’t completely change the landscape of horror comedy cinema like the first one did, but it has no problem sharpening the blade and swiftly inserting it into a zombie skull on more than one occasion.