HOLLYWOOD—Who could have imagined that precisely 10 years after its predecessor was released that the sequel “Zombieland: Double Tap” would be unleashed in theaters, with all of its core cast returning. Think about what I just said, its entire core cast returning. Yes, the 2019 sequel reunites Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin, all who have earned Academy Award nominations, one of them taking home the big prize.
Look at “Zombieland” as “The Walking Dead” before it gained the notoriety that it now has. The world is coming to an end and zombies have taken over the planet. I love the dark humor of our core characters being named after cities across the United States. I mean we have Tallahassee (Harrelson), who has no penance for dispatching of a zombie if he needs to. Columbus (Eisenberg), who overanalyzes everything in his path to survive, there is Wichita (Stone) who might appear innocent, but is always angling to get ahead with her sister, Little Rock (Breslin).
Yes, Harrelson, Stone, Eisenberg and Breslin have fantastic chemistry and that works wonders in this movie that you’re not supposed to take seriously, but it does raise the question of what do you do if the planet was invaded by zombies who wanted to flesh on your brain. Where did that idea of zombies wanting to eat brains come from? I don’t know, but just go with it.
This sequel takes place several years after the events of the first flick with our core characters taking residency inside the abandoned White House. Our heroes have made it a point of being able to identify specific types of zombies; when it’s an apocalypse, not all zombies are the same. There is friction amongst the group that causes splinters with the ladies and the guys, and it is here that Columbus meets a new love interest in Madison (Zoey Deutch). Yes, Madison is a blonde, an airhead and a dummy. The girl is just not that bright, and perhaps as Tallahassee notes: the zombies don’t want to eat her out of fear of becoming like her. While meaningless bodies, zombies aren’t complete idiots.
I love the dark humor and the cynicism that “Double Tap” brings to the audience. It’s refreshing, it’s fun and its enjoyable to watch. I mean with all the mayhem actually unfolding in the real world, it’s nice to have a departure from our everyday lives, which this flick does wonderful. Things soon turn from survival to rescue missions, with Little Rock traveling to Graceland and the threat of super zombies on the loose.
There is plenty of action, gunfire, explosions, flesh-eating blood and entertainment. “Zombieland: Double Tap” proves that in horror a bit of comedy goes a long way, especially if the focus is on fleshing out key characters, a narrative that is not convoluted and dialogue that winks so much at pop culture that it is genius. I entered the theater with the lowest of the lowest expectations and left with the biggest grin on my face. It’s a fantastic time.