Movie #282 2020: Zombieland: Double Tap (2019)

Look! More sequels we don’t actually need! But that doesn’t mean they can’t be fun, right?

Zombieland: Double Tap comes an entire decade after the first movie was released, with pretty much the entire same cast. We re-join our cult heroes in the middle of zombie-infested society, and now they’re all grown up. Abigail Breslin‘s ‘Little Rock’ isn’t even with the ‘family’ anymore – she’s off finding love with a new boyfriend. Woody Harrelson as Tallahassee is basically the exact same as he’s always been, whilst Emma Stone and Jesse Eisenberg‘s characters have split up and are now seeking separate lives of their own. Of course, it becomes quickly apparent that they need to join forces once again to defeat a new plague, and the audience is privy to how the gang gets back together.

As someone who wasn’t exactly the biggest fan of Zombieland (as in, I barely remember it) I had no expectations whatsoever for this… and ended up being pleasantly entertained! There are some diehard fans of the OG movie, but maybe the benefit here is with those who didn’t care either way. It’s most likely that those who absolutely loved its predecessor didn’t think this was a patch on the original. However, I found it pretty average to be honest, and found myself enjoying Double Tap more than many may.

It feels as though Woody Harrelson is the most underrated guy in Hollywood. Not particularly great looking and a little bit gross (especially in this franchise), but he is consistently the best performer in every role he’s given. Jesse Eisenberg is as average as ever, and they could have completely cut out Emma Stone and it would have been the same movie. Props to the producers for picking out Rosario Dawson though; perhaps it would have made for a more fun movie if the script focused on Harrelson and Dawson instead of needlessly bringing back the others just for a bit of fan service.

There’s not exactly much of a cohesive plot here (as you can probably tell from my earlier synopsis) and instead it’s just a bunch of chaotic goings-on. In terms of story, the first one is clearly tighter. However, the general tone of the movie is still a barrel of laughs and more exciting than anything I remember from the first film. Maybe it comes down to the fact that I’ve aged ten years, and the jokes now make much more sense. Either way, I enjoyed this one just as much – if not more – than the first instalment.

Some of the cinematography in this is super exciting, and – as before – the use of graphic title headers is great. The entire movie is well-made technically in all honesty, it’s just not all that ground-breaking in every other aspect. 

Sadly – despite making a lot more sense than they did when I was 17 – I felt as though most of the jokes fell flat here. If it wasn’t something said by Harrelson or clan newcomer Madison (Zoey Deutch), the laughs were sparse. Conversely, every action sequence was off the rails entertainment, especially the climax of the movie.

All in all, this is a hugely mixed bag when it comes down the success of it. Despite some segments being more impressive than others, this is a solid 3.5 star movie for me. And in terms of enjoyability? Definitely got to go with 4, if not solely for the presence of Woody.

Zombieland: Double Tap is available to stream on Sky Cinema and Now TV in the UK.

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