Zombieland: Double Tap – Film Review

I cannot overstate how much I love the original Zombieland. I have watched it on DVD so many times. I was thrilled when the sequel was originally announced and that turned into dread as the release drew closer as I just didn’t want it to be pants. Sadly, Zombieland: Double Tap isn’t a patch on the original.

The film reunites us with Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) 10 years after the events of the first film. They are now in the White House, living a cosy family life, when sisters Wichita and Little Rock take off without warning. However, one month later, Wichita returns and asks for help as Little Rock has gone off with pacifist and musician Berkeley (Avan Jogia). They venture out in search of her, with Columbus’ new lady Madison (Zoey Deutch) coming along for the ride.

Zombieland felt so original, edgy and damn cool. It had sweet graphics, awesome music and hilarious pop culture references. While the sequel contains some of the above – particularly the graphics and pop culture quips – it wasn’t enough. It didn’t feel original or edgy. The zombie genre has been done to death in the past 10 years and the writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick have put their unique voices to use with Deadpool. Just because Zombieland worked in 2009 doesn’t mean a sequel using the same formula will in 2019.

Admittedly, the original didn’t have the biggest plot, but the main fun of Zombieland was learning the world, the characters and watching these loners come together to form a family. Obviously, the sequel needed to move on from there but it had no real story to grip onto and it felt lifeless at times. You would think after a 10-year wait, director Ruben Fleischer and his team would have come up with something of more substance.

There are moments that were awesome – make sure you stick around for the credits – and the script had some decent jokes and one-liners but I didn’t laugh an awful lot, whereas the predecessor was entertaining always and I laughed loads, but I suppose that’s because it was so new, unexpected and delightful.

Harrelson is always good for comedy value and he throws himself into the role, and Eisenberg was the sweet narrator and his usual nerdy self. Stone and Breslin get the short straw and don’t have a ton to do. Breslin isn’t really in it much at all. The standout of the newbies is Deutch (my fave!) who is hilarious as the dumb blonde and steals every scene she’s in. Rosario Dawson was as badass as ever and Luke Wilson and Thomas Middleditch were great minor additions.

I’m making it sound like the sequel is rubbish, but it’s not entirely. It’s just not as good as it should have been or as I wanted it to be. I’m sure people with no attachment to Zombieland will find this a fairly enjoyable outing but I couldn’t help but compare. Double Tap fails to recapture the magic of its predecessor and doesn’t do enough to justify its existence.

In cinemas from Friday 18th October 

Rating: 3/5

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