Zombieland: Double Tap underwhelms

Zombieland: Double Tap arrived in theaters last week, 10 years after its commercially and critically successful predecessor. It really doesn’t feel like it has been ten years but it has. The movie does pick up in a future where Tallahassee and the gang have been living in this world for a long time. It would have been hard to pretend time hadn’t passed since Abigail Breslin has aged from 13 to 23.

I went into this movie expecting some cool actions scenes, to see how the gang was holding up, and to LAUGH. In my head the first movie was hilarious. Looking back I don’t even remember when or where I saw it. Looking back I believe it was the newness of the characters that made them so funny. Seeing them a second time around their quirks didn’t have the same effect that they previously had. Most of the funny moments were had by the newcomers.

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Elevator Review

Zombieland: Double Tap takes you back into a world overrun by zombies but doesn’t quite pack the comedic punch of the first. My favorite character in this one was actually Madison, played by Zoey Deutch (The Politician). Overall, it’s an enjoyable film and there is a nice bonus scene after the credits start.

The Story

Zombieland: Double Tap starts off by catching us up on what’s been happening since we last saw them. Jesse Eisenberg narrates the intro as the group is fighting their way through a pack of zombies while walking across the White House lawn. The intro concludes around the time they arrive at the house and we watch them settle in.

From there the movie begins and they waste no time getting to the issue that drives the story. Things have been great at the White House, but Tallahassee (Harrelson) has taken his role as a father figure to Little Rock (Breslin) to heart and treats her like she’s still a child. This drives her to want to run away and find herself.

Meanwhile, things between Columbus (Eisenberg) and Wichita (Stone) have been great! That is until Columbus decides he wants to take the relationship to the next level and scares Wichita off. The two ladies set out on their own and the guys accept it.

Then Wichita shows up without Little Rock and they all decide that they have to go find her to make sure she’s safe.

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The Newcomers

Along the way, the crew finds some new friends. The first of which was Zoey Deutch’s character Madison. After the ladies leave them, Tallahassee and Columbus go to the mall. At the mall Madison appears (she’s been hiding in a freezer) and is quickly welcomed to join them. She’s a little ditsy but she’s survived somehow and apparently finding other humans is pretty rare in this world.

She was my personal favorite in Double Tap and had some of the best moments. You expect her to be completely air-headed but she isn’t, so when she says things that don’t fit that expectation it comes off as even more hilarious for some reason. The dynamic she creates between Columbus and Wichita is one of the more fun aspects of the movie.

Besides her, we also get fun appearances from Luke Wilson, as Albequerque, and Thomas Middleditch, as Flagstaff. As you’ve seen in the trailer they play alternate versions of Columbus and Tallahassee so those scenes are fun as well. Rosario Dawson is a welcome addition to the crew though she doesn’t appear to be the alternate Wichita.

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The Main Cast

Honestly, the newcomers were responsible for the most funny moments. I found the main cast pretty boring in this one. Jesse Eisenberg’s character is funny just by existing in some scenes but Woody Harrelson’s humor felt forced at times. It felt like he was on Saturday Night Live doing a bit which could come down to the way the film was directed. Harrelson did everything but look off camera to check his lines.

Meanwhile, Wichita and Little Rock don’t get a ton of substantive time despite their journey away from the guys.

Overall

When revisiting a movie 10 years later it’s hard to recapture the magic. While I don’t think Zombieland: Double Tap completely missed the mark, it definitely lost some of the spark. The new additions save the movie from being bad and the ending was fun but you don’t walk away caring as much about the characters.

It’s a passable movie but not a must see by any stretch of the imagination. I usually write reviews for movies in the order I see them but I enjoyed Countdown much more than this one.

-Bibs

 

 

 

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