After years of speculation, a sequel that has been bandied about since the original was made was finally released. The original was talked about and praised for its unique voice and technique dropping rules on the screen, collecting a bunch of actors most-knowns for their roles in dramas, and delivering a fun, yet gorey script. The movie was basically a home run and because of that the sequel always seemed likely. Zombieland: Double Tap brings back all the originals from the first movie with Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, Jesse Eisenberg, and Abigail Breslin all reprising their original characters. The movie also added cameos by Zoey Deutch, Luke Wilson, Rosario Dawson, and Thomas Middleditch that strengthened an already strong cast.
Starting from the beginning this movie jumps in where it left off. Literally. The movie starts with Eisenberg’s character again reading off rules and explaining the types of zombies to the audience as well as addressing the gap in time that took place in the movie. Eisenberg plays his role so well as the happiest of the main group, but that also doesn’t say much as most of them always mutter how unhappy they are or grim things look.
One of the first things that jumps out at you when watching the movie though is just how natural, fun and enjoyable the performances are by all the main characters. Columbus and Tallahassee have great chemistry on screen and play off each other so well with how their characters are written. The best of their work comes when insults are flying in each others direction, although it is mostly Tallahassee to Columbus. Emma Stone to me didn’t have a super strong performance, but when Zoey Deutch’s character appears her humor level goes way up. She plays that whole scenario so well and gives the movie an extra bump. One notable thing was how we don’t see much of Abigail Breslin in this movie. Her character isn’t involved as much overall, but especially not with the main cast.
Another part that was enjoyable to me was the additions. The arrival of Thomas Middleditch and Luke Wilson may have been the funniest scene in the entire movie and that whole five to ten minute sequence was some of the best writing and acting in the entire film. Wilson in particular did a great job to me and made his scene pop.
Breaking away from the character well, the movie overall to me really tried to focus more on being a comedy rather than being a zombie movie, something that differed from the first movie. Overall I think the results were strong as when the zombies were involved, there was plenty of gore for everyone, but with the addition of Deutch especially, the comedy aspect of the movie was obvious. With the addition of more humor, they did a good job of continuing to pump in pop-culture references and things that will pick up extra laughs for people who see more movies. In particular, calling the zombies T-800’s is a direct reference to James Cameron’s Terminator (James Cameron is mentioned in the movie by Eisenberg and Middleditch’s characters). The movie really hits on all cylinders with references.
Criteria - 78%
When taking a step back this movie is perfect for what it wants to be and how it transitions from the first movie to the second. It never tries to be too serious or anything it isn’t. The characters are all excellent. The script is fun, well-paced and the comedy delivers yet again. This movie is an example of a sequel that didn’t need to be made, but like Toy Story 4 still delivers the entertainment that people want. A very enjoyable movie that overall and one I highly recommend.