Cinematic Releases: Zombieland: Double Tap (2019) - Reviewed

Ten years later, the cast of Zombieland is back for a sequel that's a fun return to the comedic world of the undead. Does the idea still work? Or is it dead on arrival?

After years and years of attempting to get this movie made, the crew of zombie bashers are finally doing what they do best: cracking sarcastic jokes while vanquishing legions of rotted walking corpses that have been upgraded to Terminator like flesh chompers that are nearly impossible to kill. While it's not going to win any awards for originality, Zombieland 2 at bare minimum delivers a worthy follow up that doesn't try to reinvent the wheel. If you're a fan of the first, you'll definitely like what they do with Double Tap. 

Riding on the coattails of its decade old predecessor, this second entry is a mildly repetitive mishmash that doesn't do much to try anything new but amplifies the context of the first film, upping the ante and pushing the envelope of the world they exist in. Things have gotten much worse in Zombieland, but they all take it in stride, never losing hope as they take up permanent residence in Washington D.C.. The world has deteriorated to a barren landscape where food and necessities are becoming harder to come by. Yet, random vehicles still have full tanks of gas and no one ever seems too worried about eating. Dumb? Yes. Totally goofy and off the rocker? Also, yes. 

With series like The Walking Dead seemingly losing viewership and waning in general interest, it's nice to get a different spin on zombies. Director Ruben Fleischer knows his audience. He plays directly into their hands. Satirical elements are notched up to ten. The sexual jokes are peaked out at max. And the head smashing gore is right where it needs to be. With a couple adaptive changes made to the script, this could have been just as good as the the first, which is uncommon in the realm of second helpings. This is close, but no cigar. 

This latest zombie comedy uses Woody Harrelson and Jesse Eisenberg's dynamic chemistry to full effect. Their relationship hasn't changed much over the course of time. They seem to be frozen in place as characters, both relying heavily on each others' wit and rather dry sense of humor to get through the day. For fans of the first, this is like returning the post apocalyptic world where there is nothing to do other than target practice, searching for necessities, and blowing apart swaths of zombies. Not much has changed at all. But it's still a blast. Emma Stone obviously adds her certain charm to the feature while Abigail Breslin's Little Rock is barely heard from (a plot point we won't dig into). 

For fans of 2009's Zombieland, this is a no brainer. After a failed TV show tried to reinvigorate the brand, it became quickly apparent that the original cast was needed to carry the torch. Double Tap is an enjoyable continuation that cashes in on the continuing zombie trend while giving us another simple plotted adventure with characters we enjoyed ten years ago. As a reunion, this totally succeeds at doing what good sequels do without tarnishing the legacy of the first film. It's not quite at the same level but comes close to recapturing what made the idea so great the first time around.

Zombies and comedy can work together when done right. Double Tap is a damn good part two that's knows its place. 

-Chris George