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Zombieland: Double Tap (A Movie Review)

Updated: Jul 24, 2023

Zombieland: Double Tap


Starring Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Abigail Breslin, Emma Stone, Rosario Dawson, Zoey Deutch, Avan Jogia, Luke Wilson, Thomas Middleditch, Victoria Hall, Victor Rivera, Ian Gregg, Devin Mojica, Rachel Luttrell, John Dixon, Ronny A. Mathew, Jess Durham, David Fleischer, Jenin Gonzalez, Felix Betancourt, Al Roker and Bill Murray.

Screenplay by Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick, Dave Callaham.

Directed by Ruben Fleischer.

Distributed by Columbia Pictures. 99 minutes. Rated R.

Here’s what I need you to do. When you go to see Zombieland: Double Tap – and you should go to see Zombieland: Double Tap in the theater (the action, the soundtrack, the small details are all big-screen worthy) – let me know if the film opened with an ad for, the FEMA website for emergency preparedness. Because, frankly, at my screening, that was a stroke of ironic, comedic genius that went above and beyond. I am happy to say that it was one of the many comedic details that make the Zombieland films the exception to my “No Zombies” rule.

Columbus (played by Jesse Eisenberg), Tallahassee (played by Woody Harrelson), Wichita (played by Emma Stone), and Little Rock (played by Abigail Breslin) are still together and back on the big screen 10 years after the original to show us how humanity has fared. And we must assume humans are few and far between as the foursome have continued to band together over the decade with no mention of longstanding newcomers.

They’ve been in full-time survival mode and their characters have withstood time with little change. Columbus remains in anxiety mode, dedicated to his rules and playing house with Wichita. Wichita remains on the ready, enjoying the “family” life, but dedicated to her sister, Little Rock, who always has one foot out the door.

Little Rock is the most changed, aging from 13 to 23 and the little bird is ready to leave the nest and protective watch of Tallahassee. Tallahassee, while still a zombie thirsty killer, remains a comic relief figure, exchanging an obsession over Twinkies to an obsession over having the best set of wheels to chase down zombies.

Zombieland: Double Tap gives fans what they want – the same characters, with little change or growth, still surviving 10 years later. And maybe the lack of growth over a decade can be explained by being in full survival mode 24/7?

With time, they’ve been able to figure out the difference between zombie types: Homers (as in Simpson, super stupid, bumbling around looking at butterflies), Hawkings (as in Stephen, using logic to score their kills), and Ninjas (well, their name says it all as they use their ninja-like speed to take down their prey). This becomes important for their survival, to know when and how to use their resources.

I would never make it in Zombieland. I’ve taken up more cardio (rule #1) and agree 100% with the double tap (rule #2), but truth be told, rules are not my thing and faced with a zombie, I suspect I would lose my head, which might protect me.

Zombies eat brains, so that may be my survival plan, like newcomer Madison (played by Zoey Deutch), found after surviving the decade in the freezer of a Pinkberry, who perhaps survived due to her overall lack of brain power. She brings a gleeful, brainless bliss to the character mix.

Another fun addition is Rosario Dawson as Nevada, the obvious yin to Tallahassee’s yang. It’s nice to see him find a bit of comfort after his sad story from the original film.

Avan Jogia plays Berkeley, a dope smoking hippie poseur who literally steals Little Rock away with the hope of finding Babylon, a hippie enclave where guns are not allowed. I was less intrigued by this storyline than the rest of the film, but they wove it back into the action-packed ending.

The original Zombieland is the only zombie genre film that I watch. Zombies are definitely not for me. Even the ads for World War Z, with the super-fast, mounting zombie hoards gave me nightmares. But Zombieland, where the humor outweighs the fear, invites even us more gently for the opportunity to play in the genre. Zombieland: Double Tap is more of the same, and I am thankful for it.

PS. Be sure to watch for the end credit scene!

Bonnie Paul

Copyright ©2019 All rights reserved. Posted: October 18, 2019.


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