The fan favorite zombie horror film returns to the silver screen with its anticipated sequel, “Zombieland: Double Tap.” Despite the 10-year gap in production from the original, the sequel still manages to reel audiences into the world of Zombieland quite easily. The plot, cast, effects and cinematography all deliver on a fun zombie comedy. While the familiarity to the original plays to the movie’s strengths, it does rehash quite a few plot threads that feel very unoriginal. Despite this, the renowned parody still manages to reinstate itself as its lovable characters return for more gory zombie action.
The film takes a time gap to explain our characters’ journey across the United States to inhabit the now deserted White House. “Zombieland: Double Tap” actually mirrors the original quite well, with Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) and Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) chasing after sisters Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) and Wichita (Emma Stone) because they steal the groups’ vehicle. Yet, after a few nights, Wichita returns to the White House to ask the group for help in finding Little Rock, who seemingly deserted her sister for a hitchhiker named Berkeley (Avan Jogia). The group is then tasked with finding Little Rock and her new boyfriend as they venture to a peaceful safe haven, Babylon. While the film remains similar to the original script, it also introduces new characters that definitely change the tempo of the film.
Among the main group is Madison (Zoey Deutch), whose dumb blonde trope annoys the group as a whole. Her joyous vibe was a great foil to the gritty cast as she’s a constant pest through our characters’ journey. Another great addition was Rosario Dawson’s character, Nevada, who acts as a mirror and love interest to the wild cowboy Tallahassee. As a matter of fact, the film even takes the mirror trope further by introducing Albuquerque (Luke Wilson) and Flagstaff (Thomas Middleditch) who rip off Tallahassee and Columbus respectively. Each of the new characters take time away from the main cast, which is disappointing. Rather than spending time developing characters, we see a mirror character almost instantly. Despite the story not having much substance or overall significance, the humor makes up for it in strides. One of the film’s strengths is the consistency in its actors’ abilities to make a humorous film. Each scene had me roaring with some very clever lines and cheeky references to its predecessor. Each character brings an edge of humor that adds much-needed flavor to the post apocalyptic world. At times the quality can be juvenile, but never did I find myself feeling like it took me out of enjoying the film.
When looking back at the original film, it’s easy to see through the special effects used and CGI because of the modern advancements in technology. The 10 years it took to make the sequel benefited the special effects department to make the world of Zombieland much uglier. My favorite addition to the film’s VFX was all the added zombie elements. The zombies now look much more detailed and developed with more gross and disgusting effects like their putrid vomit. Like the effects, the cinematography was given much more attention, with many scenes being filmed expertly and delivering satisfying shots of our characters and the hordes of zombies they encounter. One such scene that sticks out is in the beginning when our heroes breach the White House. Playing simultaneous to the opening credits, the scene is a great reintroduction to the cast with an equally amazing zombie killing montage. The film definitely stepped up its game with cinematography and effects to pull audiences back into a ridiculous zombie-ridden world.
With that said, the film is a souped-up version of the 2009 film that creates a humorous world for audiences to enjoy. It largely takes from the original, such as using Columbus’ rules for survival and Talahasse’s iconic catchphrase “Nut up or shut up!” The great VFX work also makes this film look as great as it does. “Zombieland: Double Tap” still delivers on a funny zombie adventure flick with great characters and humor; even though its overall plot and humorous moments are largely reused from over a decade ago.
“Zombieland: Double Tap” takes the best beats of the original to craft a great sequel that is an excellent zombie comedy film. While at points the film is somewhat generic and plays on its predecessor a little too much, it still makes for an enjoyable parody film that is a treat to zombie lovers.