Zombieland: Double Tap (2019)
“Zombieland: Double Tap” stars Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, and Abigail Breslin. Released on October 18, 2019, the film has a group of survivors battling zombies in a post-apocalyptic world.
The film is directed by Ruben Fleischer, who also directed “30 Minutes or Less”, “Gangster Squad”, and “Venom”. It is a sequel to the 2009 comedy, “Zombieland”, which is also directed by Fleischer. Zombies can be the worse sometimes. They’re disgusting to look at, they only eat body parts and brains, and they won’t leave you alone. They’re like pesky bugs that swarm around you during a hot summer day. They’re annoying as heck. Most horror films involve people either running from or fighting zombies in a thrilling and terrifying way, but there were also horror films that portray this situation in a comedic and fun way. Zombie comedies can make any zombie apocalypse an enjoyable time to live in when given the right tools and the right talent, with the prime examples being “Shaun of the Dead” and “Zombieland”. “Zombieland” is a pretty odd zombie comedy that involves a group of people going on a road trip in a post-apocalyptic Earth that’s filled with nothing but zombies. At first, it looked like something that could wind up being a brainless and soulless zombie film, but after it was released to the public, it was able to prove us wrong by receiving positive reviews from critics and audiences and becoming one of the most successful films in the zombie genre. So it was pretty much inevitable that Sony wanted to do a follow-up to the classic comedy. It took them a decade to get it into production, however, due to some tight schedules for the cast and crew, but thanks to their patience (and ours), we are finally able to revisit our favorite zombie killers on the big screen. Was it worth the ten-year wait? Let’s nut up and find out.
Taking place a decade after the first film, “Zombieland: Double Tap” continues the post-apocalyptic adventures of the four main survivors: Tallahassee (Harrelson), Columbus (Eisenberg), Wichita (Stone), and Little Rock (Breslin). This time, they’re attempting to keep their dysfunctional “family” together while battling stronger zombies and meeting other survivors such as Madison (Zoey Deutch) and Nevada (Rosario Dawson). The first “Zombieland” film was successful because it had these simple traits: the chemistry between the main cast, a fun and unique take on the zombie genre, hilarious humor, and heart. These are the things that made “Zombieland” one of the most entertaining comedies of the late 2000s. For the sequel, director Ruben Fleischer and screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick attempted to revisit those traits in order to recreate the style that was introduced in its predecessor. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The result is a familiar, yet wickedly entertaining, sequel that recaptures the irresistible charm of the original. I really had a lot of fun watching this film, mostly because of the cast and the humor. The chemistry between the main cast still has that remarkable spark that worked in its predecessor. Harrelson, Eisenberg, Stone, and Breslin were all great as their respective characters, with each of them given the chance to show off their comedic moments. I think it’s been a while since I’ve seen Jesse Eisenberg in a comedy. It’s actually quite nice. The film also introduced some new characters (or survivors, in this case), such as Madison, a stereotypical dumb blonde who’s caught in a love triangle between Columbus and Wichita. I was a bit concerned that Madison was going to wind up being the bane of everyone’s existence, including mine, but after watching the film, she surprisingly became one of the best parts of the experience as Deutch delivered her most convincing performance I’ve ever seen in a comedy. What made this character work for me is that the film understood that she’s a dumb blonde, and it’s not afraid to poke fun of that stereotype. If the film is having fun with itself, the audience will have fun with it as well. There were also a couple of characters named Albuquerque (Wilson) and Flagstaff (Middleditch) that share the same similarities as Tallahassee and Columbus. If you’ve been following the earlier stages of development for the first film, you might understand the joke a bit more. All I can say about that is that it was a nice touch. The humor is also what made the film shine for me. There were a ton of offbeat jokes that were cleverly written and honestly hilarious. It’s hard for me to tell how many times I laughed at a film about a zombie apocalypse because I was busy laughing at a film about a zombie apocalypse. That’s how good the humor was to me. There’s really no one else that could’ve directed the film better than Ruben Fleischer, who knew exactly what made the first film click, which is the combination of style, humor, and heart. The heart was somewhat there in "Double Tap", but compared to its predecessor, it’s not quite as effective as it could’ve been when it comes to the story, which hurt the film a little bit, but not by much. I still had fun with the characters, but there were certain moments between them that may come off as either weak or mediocre for certain people.
Overall, “Zombieland: Double Tap” makes up for its lack of brains by delivering an entertaining and hilarious follow-up that will certainly impress fans of the 2009 zombie comedy. Thanks to its amazing cast, Fleischer’s direction, and well-written humor, the film was able to maintain the spirit of the original without changing anything else (for better or for worse). In other words, if you like “Zombieland”, you’ll like “Double Tap”. If not, then this film is not for you. To me, it’s definitely worth the long wait.
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