“Zombieland: Double Tap” is the long awaited sequel to the surprise hit Zombieland which is pretty funny yet nowhere near one of my favorite comedies of recent years. The original stars Emma Stone, Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg and Abigail Breslin are all reunited for this sequel. The film follows the original characters living at the abandoned White House. They debate on parting ways until they decide to go on a road trip to find Little Rock, played by Abigail Breslin, who goes with her newfound hippie boyfriend Berkeley, played by Avan Jogia, to a Babylon commune across the country.
While I think the first film is decent at best, “Zombieland: Double Tap” is a vaguely disappointing yet mainly humorous sequel with enough good jokes and zombie centered action sequences to make up for its predictable plot and forced conflict between characters. The film is full of some pretty good jokes and well-shot zombie action sequences that are well-paced within the film’s narrative while not coming up with an interesting reason to bring back the characters in the first place.
The characters seem to be forced into conflict that should have been resolved in between the 10 years since the first film took place. The new characters introduced in the film range from actress Zoey Detuch’s vaguely annoying character Madison to the underutilized Rosario Dawson as Tennessee.
The main problem with this film is that nothing feels authentic like the first movie and it continues to take nearly every predictable turn. The jokes are hit or miss with several laugh out loud moments paired with many jokes that go on way too long and fall flat.
The performances are all pretty good especially from the main cast of Harrelson, Stone and Eisenberg as Talahasse, Wichita and Columbus, respectively. However, they don’t share the same spark they had in the first movie. The sequel doesn’t change any of the problems that the original had such as Eisenberg’s constant narration that could be cut at times and it’s structure that feels similar to a variety of Saturday Night Live skits brought together by its plot. Some of the skits including one involving “Graceland” are quite entertaining mainly due to the comedic timing of the actors.
The filmmakers are quite creative with the entertaining zombie fight sequences while being pretty sporadic with the comedy that blends those scenes together. The film’s writing ranges from a bit clever to very bland due to its severe lack of characterization for both it’s new and original characters. It feels as if the plot to the film could have taken place just a few years after the first film and feels almost out of place considering 10 years have gone by. All of the characters have good chemistry and yet the film felt nearly unnecessary by its climax. The film’s ending is both thoroughly entertaining due to its large scale and well-choreographed zombie invasion and slightly disappointing because it relies on a lot of plot conveniences to get to its predictable ending. It does manage to pull some very clever homages to the original while giving enough new material to differentiate itself. Overall, “Zombieland: Double Tap” is a slightly disappointing yet funny sequel with enough good jokes and creative zombie action sequences to make up for its overlong jokes and plot filled with forced conflict. For me, “Zombieland: Double Tap” gets a rating of 5.5 out of 10.