Zombieland: Double Tap (2019)
Zombieland: Double Tap (2019)

Genre: Horror Comedy Running Time: 1 hr. 39 min.

Release Date: October 18th, 2019 MPAA Rating: R

Director: Ruben Fleischer Actors: Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, Abigail Breslin, Zoey Deutch, Rosario Dawson, Luke Wilson, Thomas Middleditch, Avan Jogia

 


 

“B

ack for seconds after all this time?” It may have taken a decade for “Zombieland” to get a sequel, but the tone hasn’t changed all that much. The characters have aged, yet the material is just as funny as before. Perhaps the only notable drawback is that very same component: it hasn’t changed. The humor isn’t funnier, the interactions aren’t more complex, and the plot isn’t more absorbing. But despite being more of the same, it’s still a thoroughly entertaining ride.

Over the years, the zombie apocalypse has undergone some evolving. The undead can now be classified into different groups, based on their flesh-eating abilities: stupid zombies are dubbed “Homers,” smarter ones “Hawkings,” and the most elusive and deadly are known as “Ninjas.” And there may be something even more challenging beyond that. But for Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), Wichita (Emma Stone), and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin), the day-to-day routines of survival provide a certain freedom and also a certain loneliness. They attempt to appreciate the little things in life as they keep to themselves for protection, such as verbally awarding particularly creative kills, celebrating Christmas, and experimenting with all sorts of weaponry. Although they claim the lavish White House as their latest fortified home, Wichita begins to grow tired of her relationship with Columbus; Little Rock longs for a boyfriend and people her own age; and Tallahassee pines for adventure. Hunkering down for good provides fleeting contentedness.

“Never get attached.” When Wichita and Little Rock take off unexpectedly, the two men cope with their newfound isolation in very different ways. But into their partnership comes a mall freezer hideaway, Madison (Zoey Deutch), whose simplemindedness creates new predicaments – and a love triangle when Wichita spontaneously returns, insistent on a rescue mission to locate Little Rock, who may be headed for Graceland, the home of Elvis Presley.

Right from the start, the zombies present a somewhat unique vision: they’re faster and more mobile than many of their theatrical brethren, while also appearing far more decomposed. There’s plenty of graphic gore as they’re dispatched in mutilative ways, yet the humor of the combat is unavoidable. With slow-motion, heavy firepower, and enthusiastic relish, the lead foursome dislimb, decapitate, or utterly demolish these adversaries, spraying buckets of blood across the screen. Of course, to supplement the bodily mayhem are plenty of jokey asides, ranging from flashbacks to slapstick to freak-outs to one-liners to comical glibness. And Madison gets to furnish many of the laughs, as her unwavering stupidity nicely complements the stereotypically diverse stars, who embody distinct and contrasting personalities.

Though there are new characters and places and fights, the interplay is largely the same. But the comedy is still entirely effective, marking a sensational opposition to the likes of “The Walking Dead” and the plethora of other dark, dramatic zombie properties; here, there are chirpy, peaceful, friendly clans and lifestyles to discover. Plenty of goodwill and cheer have infected the living; no one is interested in being a ruthless, cannibalistic, cutthroat savage, out to make the zombies look benign by comparison. In fact, many survivors live by humane, ethical rules, such as embracing teamwork and pacifism and minding one’s manners. Perhaps it helps that resources such as water, food, and electricity are abundant – as are marijuana, makeup, and toothpaste. Once again, the action is amusing (the finale resembles a zombie “Seven Samurai”), the humor is consistent, and the pacing is efficient; it’s not exactly original anymore, nor is it high art, but it remains completely enjoyable.

– Mike Massie

  • 7/10