Director – Ruben Fleischer (Venom, Zombieland)
Starring – Woody Harrelson (Kingpin, Natural Born Killers), Jesse Eisenberg (Batman V. Superman, Justice League), and Emma Stone (Maniac, Superbad)
Release Date – 2019
Rating – 3/5
My college years were some of the best years of my life. I partied, learned so many things, met some cool people, and found so many movies that stuck with me almost 10 years later. During this time I became obsessed with O’ Brother Where Art Thou?, Necroville, Black Dynamite, and Zombieland. These were my go to movies when I wanted to drink, study, clean my dorm, and so on. I had a lot of fun with those movies on and they still trigger great memories when I think about them. Sadly, it’s been sometime since I last watched any of them but I do randomly think about these movies.
Back in October Zombieland received a sequel with Zombieland: Double Tap. I tried on several occasions to check it out but something always came up preventing me. I had to wait until a physical release was out in order to check it out. I was lucky enough to receive a review copy an a promo candle that smelled like Twinkies.
**Spoiler Alert** The film picks up a decade after the first film. Tallahassee, Columbus, Witchita, and Little Rock as they continue life in the zombie apocalypse. They continue their lives with Tallahassee taking over as a father figure for Little Rock while Columbus and Wichita continue their relationship. Things work the way they are until Little Rock starts to long for someone her age and Columbus proposes to Wichita. The two sister leave while the other two struggle to pick up the pieces. A month goes by and Columbus still misses Wichita but runs into the dumb blonde stereotype Madison. The two hook up and soon Columbus regrets it when Wichita returns after losing Little Rock to a hippie drifter making their way to a safe haven known as Babylon. The four then set out to go find her while surviving a horde of ever evolving zombies. **Spoiler Alert**
I can’t find the words to explain how excited I was for this film. I’ve watched the first one no less than 100 times in 10 years and I couldn’t wait to finally check this one out. Now that I have I can’t help and feel like this one was not on the same level as the first film. I’m not saying it’s a bad movie but it just doesn’t entertain like the first film did.
The acting in this one is great. Harrelson carries the film much like the first film. Eisenberg is the comedic relief of the film and serves well as the sidekick while Emma Stone delivers a rather underwhelming performance. I’m a huge Superbad fan so I always expect an amazing performance from her but I just wasn’t feeling it in this film. However, Abigail Breslin delivers a superior performance when compared to the first film. I did not care for her character in the first film but this time around she has way more personality and is more fun to watch on screen.
The story for this one just feels a little all over the place. We get the same characters we love but then we get duplicates tossed in that is funny at first but the joke does run thin. Along with that we get the separation of the characters that feels like two possible stories were written and then combined to make a more action packed film that just doesn’t flow very well. I didn’t hate the story but it would have been a lot more fun if it was a little more linear. My biggest complaint is that this zombie comedy puts the zombies I the back seat. The story does center around them but they are mostly in mention and not really seen until the last 20 minutes or so.
Finally, this one gives the viewer some blood but if you are looking for gore then you will be a little disappointed. When the undead is destroyed we get more visual effects than practical effects and the gore seems to be missing. The deaths are quick, sometimes off camera, and very underwhelming. Overall, Zombieland: Double Tap is a fun popcorn horror flick but is nowhere near the same quality as the first film. I can’t call it a quick cash grab but it is lacking. It’s fun for a double feature with the first or a one time watch but I highly doubt I will be revisiting this one.