- Katie Bell
Zombieland: Double Tap - 2019
Updated: Jul 21, 2020
Pull out your #twinkies and your #mountaindewcodered because #itstimetonutuporshutup...again. Zombieland: Double Tap is a lot of fun. It finds the perfect balance between new jokes and playful throwbacks, whilst engrossing viewers in an engaging story.
If you're a fan of Zombieland (the film, not the place), you should prepare yourself for some very familiar moments, that are sure to put a smile on your face. This one predictably begins once again, with narration by Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), however enough time has passed between the first film and the second for this to feel nostalgic rather than overly-formulaic. There have been some changes to the zombies over the last ten years, and these are explained during the opening monologue. The difficulty level has increased, but isn't unbeatable for Columbus, Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin). This narration is obviously followed by a slow motion montage, throughout which the credits roll and our favourite rag-tag gang of zombie apocalypse survivors demonstrate how they've gotten by the last ten years...by killing zombies with zeal. I bet all of this is sounding VERY familiar...and you're right. It is. However, there is plenty of new content in this film.
Firstly, there is the addition of the new characters. I won't go into too much detail on this, as I don't want to spoil the fun. However, if you've watched a trailer, you'll already know about the existence of Zoey Deutch's character, Madison. Additionally, Luke Wilson and Thomas Middleditch make some entertaining appearances themselves. When some of these characters are introduced (**cough** Madison **cough**) I found myself praying to the film lords that I wouldn't be forced to hear them whine and listen to their "blonde moments" for one hour and thirty-nine long minutes. But the film lords (or screenwriters, rather), know what they are doing and although these characters wander onto the screen for long enough to make us laugh, they don't overstay their welcome, and we are able to enjoy some good solid screen time with our favourite four.
The next thing that is "new" is the storyline. Look, there isn't anything groundbreaking here, but I have no real complaints. There are a few nice twists (and a few that perhaps weren't twisty enough to fool me) and of course there is a climax with A LOT of zombies (I guess a spoiler...but is it actually?) What I really liked about this sequel though, was that a lot of films in this category of comedy, will churn out the same film again with a number 2 on the end, and try to tell us that it's something new. This film genuinely changes things up and although there are heaps of throwbacks and some moments of straight up deja vu, it's not a carbon copy of Zombieland.
One final part of this film, that I really enjoyed, was all of the very strong female characters. And I know, you're probably picturing Madison and thinking, "Really, Katie?" Or you've just rolled your eyes at your device and thought, "here we bloody well go...she's going to talk feminism". But seriously, this film does strong female characters in the best way: without any songs, dances or tear-jerking Oscar-nominating speeches about female oppression. These characters are awesome, because they kick-butt without pointing out that they kick-butt. And I don't want to spoil anything, but the boys simply wouldn't get by without them. I will admit, there is one reference to the women's suffrage movement...but we'll let it slide, because it's delivered as a joke.
If I can offer one final piece of advice? Watch Zombieland once more before you watch Zombieland: Double Tap. I watched the first film many, many times when it first came out; I had parts of it memorised. However, this sequel contains a lot of throwbacks. Some are quite obvious, some are downright meta, but some you may not pick up on if you don't dust off Zombieland and give it another go.
This one probably won't take home any Oscars, but it sure will make you laugh out loud, and sometimes that's all I'm really looking for in a film.