Visual media centered around apocalyptic zombie wastelands is a pretty tired genre to say the least, but somehow Zombieland: Double Tap is a refreshing, fun filled experience. Laugh out loud wise cracks, nail biting chase sequences and epic zombie kills are the name of the game for this surprisingly well executed sequel that nobody expected.
The film focuses on the original foursome, Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), Wichita (Emma Stone),Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) and Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg). Little Rock is no longer a child and an existential crisis leads her to abandon the group for a hippie boy she meets on the road. The story follows the group on their quest to find her.
What I appreciate most about this sequel is that it doesn’t try too hard. It knows exactly what it wants to be and doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel. It doesn’t try to take itself too seriously and you can tell that everyone involved had a blast making it. The chemistry between the leads in this film is so good, you actually believe that they have been around each other in zombie America for 10 years. There are a few new characters that are introduced, but there is one in particular that stands out above the rest played by Zoey Deutch. She plays Madison, a stereotypical blonde ditz whom the group encounters while walking around in an abandon mall. Most of the best laugh out loud moments in the film come from the the interactions between her and the rest of the group. This type of character is so often over exaggerated and dull, but Deutch brings a fun, bubbly energy that plays so well against our hardened, apocalyptic group.
I had a smile on my face throughout the entire runtime and there is hardly anything that I didn’t like about this film. I think the first 20 minutes is the weakest part, but only because it’s filled with exposition to get re-familiarized with the zombie world and the team again. Once the gang sets out on their quest to find Little Rock everything picks up and this is where the film starts to shine. The art direction and set design for this film is quite amazing.You can tell that a lot of attention to detail went into every scene and it helps further the believability that we’re in the zombie apocalypse.
I don’t think this film would be as successful as it is without Woody Harrelson. His character is really the best part about this franchise and I don’t think he could be replaced with anyone else. All the best moments in the film are because of his wise cracking lack of political correctness. His back and forth banter between Jesse Eisenberg is so fun to watch and had me in tears throughout. There is a great scene where a doppelgänger duo shows up played by Luke Wilson and Thomas Middleditch. Watching all four of these characters interact had me in stitches and there is a great chase scene that develops with all of them running around a Graceland themed house.
If you want to forget about your troubles for an hour and forty minutes and laugh your head off, then Zombieland: Double Tap is just the film you should see this weekend. I don’t think you’d enjoy this movie as much without seeing the first film so definitely make sure you have that frame of reference before venturing into this chapter. The most important thing I’ve learned from these two movies is that even amongst the chaos of everyday life, you have to remember to ‘Enjoy the Little Things’: Rule #32.