#REVIEW: “ZOMBIELAND: DOUBLE TAP”
Review by David Baldwin for Mr. Will Wong
It has been ten years since the zombie outbreak devastated the United States and in that time, the familial bond between Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) has only grown stronger. But the zombies are getting smarter and more resourceful. When Little Rock decides to venture out on her own, it is up to the rest of the family to find her and make sure she does not end up infected.
For fans of the original Film, Zombieland: Double Tap is a lot of enjoyable fun. It retreads on many of the same themes and jokes from the first film, working some into the Plot very well and overusing others. The three-act structure of Double Tap is also very similar to its predecessor, but feels more finessed and cohesive – as opposed to deliberately feeling like a three-episode TV show pilot stitched together. It even goes one better, extending the world building organically and often hilariously. It loses focus in some areas but still manages to feel as grounded as possible, straddling the line between happy-go-lucky and grimdark dystopia.
The satirical elements are front and center yet again, and are successful for the most part. Eisenberg’s narration is just as dry and hilarious as ever, and the banter between the returning cast members is delightfully-deadpan. The group slides right back into their character molds with ease and develop quite wonderfully. Some character choices are random, but others make perfect sense for a group who have been together for so long. The quick-witted remarks are still top notch and each member of the core group is clearly having a blast working on a project that is substantially less serious than their most recent work. I wish they did not leave Breslin on the sidelines so often, but she still makes her small amount of screen time count.
Where Double Tap falters and stalls is in how it introduces and uses its new characters. Yes, they obviously needed to bring in some fresh blood to expand the Sequel’s scope, but the Film has an odd habit of not knowing what to do with any of these newbies. They exist, help push the plot forward and offer a few fun jokes, but they really do not offer much else. Zoey Deutch gives her all playing a ditsy, annoying valley girl, but it gets a bit tedious to watch her become the butt of far too many jokes. Luke Wilson and Thomas Middleditch are part of the Film’s very impressive and amusing Second Act one-take fight scene, but they are otherwise useless – yet are a big part of the Film’s marketing campaign. Rosario Dawson fares the best of all of the newbies, but she is still massively underused.
I was not a huge fan of the original Zombieland, but ended up quite enjoying Zombieland: Double Tap. Yes, it does retread on what made the first film a rousing success. But it also extends the mythos and world building while developing the core relationships of the characters in organic and entertaining ways. Just make sure you sit through the credits long enough to see the mid-credits scene. It may feature a controversial Twitter presence, but if you can look past that, the scene is an instant all-timer.
Sony Pictures Canada release ZOMBIELAND: DOUBLE TAP on Friday, October 18, 2019.