Review by Camden Ferrell
Zombieland: Double Tap is the sequel to the successful 2009 zombie comedy Zombieland. This installment is directed by Ruben Fleischer (Venom) who also directed the first film. While it doesn’t always live up to the standard set by its predecessor, this sequel is an inconsequentially fun continuation of the story.
This movie follows our same crew of Tallahassee, Columbus, Wichita, and Little Rock as they continue to navigate the post-apocalyptic landscape. In this new climate, they encounter new survivors and evolved zombies while dealing with the dynamics of their relationships.
While this sequel feels entirely unnecessary, it proves to have a lot of charm that’s reminiscent of the first film. Our characters retain their same quirky traits while also feeling like they have grown as individuals. The writing team of Dave Callaham, Rhet Reese, and Paul Wernick crafted a story that maintains the same appeal of the new film and presents this new story in a familiar way.
The main cast of Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, and Abigail Breslin all reprise their respective roles. Much like the first film, Harrelson and Eisenberg stand out with funny performances and a unique dynamic. However, both Stone and Breslin add enough to the film with their personalities and screen presence.
The true surprise of this movie is its new characters. Zoey Deutch plays the ditzy and air-headed Madison. Her empty-minded performance definitely stands out in her scenes. She plays the role so well and steals many scenes throughout the movie. Even if her material isn’t the best, she always sells it very well. This movie also features supporting performances from Thomas Middleditch and Luke Wilson which are hilarious even if they are brief.
The main flaw of the movie does stem from its occasionally weak script and weak pacing. Even though the script captures the spirit of the movie well, there are many jokes that feel too forced or overly set-up. Usually the actors make the most of it, but in can be off-putting at times. The pacing can feel a little odd throughout the movie and make certain scenes drag on too long, but it isn’t too distracting.
This sequel succeeds in telling a new story in our group’s adventure and not pandering excessively to its fan base. It gives more insight into the post-apocalyptic world and gives fans satisfying closure. The film features some really outstanding scenes (like a zombie fight tracking shot) that make the film feel very lively and make it a worthy sequel.
This is a movie that is far from perfect but provides lots of laughs. It’s energetic and has the same charm and character as the original.
Zombieland: Double Tap is playing in theaters everywhere.