Zombieland: Double Tap

It’s been 10 years since we first met Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), Wichita (Emma Stone), Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin). Life in a zombie apocalypse doesn’t stand still with the zombies evolving as quickly as our heroes.

The original Zombieland was a whole heap of undead fun, with an interesting look at a well worn genre to do something that was genuinely funny and different. The film was built upon some sharp gags and four very likeable characters with a lot of chemistry and an extremely memorable cameo. It was a smart zombie movie with a great sense of humour, whats’s not to like?

I think the real question was do we really need another Zombieland movie, and was there really something new to say? The answer is pretty much a shambling shrug and a groan, really.

The story picks up ten years later with our heroes as they have really settled to life in the wastelands of Zombieland and are enjoying the finer things in life. The quartet of zombie-slayers are enjoying life in some of the country’s more notable venues, like the White House. It’s quite nice to check in and see what happens after the ending and how Columbus and the gang are enjoying a sliver of normality.

One of the strengths and weaknesses of the Double Tap is that it really is just more of the same. I enjoyed the original movie so it was a pleasure to spend some more time with these characters but at the same time it never really offered anything new. When the film does introduce something new it just serves to remind you how good the original was.

There’s new characters added to the mix like Madison (Zoey Deutch) a cheerleader-esque woman whose sunny disposition is completely unmoved by the zombie hordes. The problem is that she is never really fully developed and feels like a character that has been created so that the others can make fun of her and be incredibly mean. Zoey Deutch does an admirable job and managed to extract more than her fair share of laughs but it’s really not a lot to work with.

Any other new characters don’t really do much better out of things with Albuquerque (Luke Wilson) and Flagstaff (Thomas Middleditch) a one note joke where they mirror Columbus and Tallahassee. Then there’s Rosario Dawson’s Nevada who again feels dreadfully underwritten.

It’s a fine enough sequel but it just doesn’t really offer anything new. In the last 10 years the zombie genre has only become more crowded so what felt new and exciting in 2009 feels old and overfamiliar now. There are definitely some laughs to be had but it really does feel like a poor copy of the original.

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