'Zombieland: Double Tap' review - an okay zombie comedy

Director: Ruben Fleischer

Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, Woody Harrelson, Abigail Breslin

Score: 3/5

Zombieland was, as some would say, a revolutionary zombie film. In a genre that had been done to death, bringing in the idea of comedy was welcomed by most fans. Now, years later, Zombieland: Double Tap keeps up the standard set by it, somewhat.

Double Tap picks up 10 years after Zombieland, and the group of Columbus, Wichita, Tallahassee and Little Rock have since taken up residence at the White House. However, owing to a couple of reasons, Wichita and Little Rock decide to wing it, bringing us back to square one.

Forced by circumstances, what's left of the splintered group is forced to work together once again and tackle the threat of Zombieland to locate their family.

There is a saying: "The more things change, the more they remain the same". In some ways, it perfectly encapsulates what Double Tap is. Ten years after their first adventure, the group are once again beset by personal differences, leading to another road trip, leading to another one of Tallahassee's celebrity hunts - Elvis Presley is the target this time. The film is rather comfortable in its skin.

But there are changes in that skin. Gone are the rabid zombies who run single-mindedly at humans. Now, they are evolved, with some literally as dumb as Homer from The Simpsons, and some with enough brains to work past obstacles - and the most dangerous of all: The Terminator, which really lives up to its namesake in its resilience.

Zombies aren't the only threat though. This time, some humans join the mix: Hippies, and blondes. Stereotypical though it may be, the film makes a point to show how dumb people can be, personified in hipsters who smoke weed, beat drums and shun things that could protect you in a zombie apocalypse, and a blonde who is unsurprisingly quite annoying. Props for managing to write a character that is capable of grating nerves like a cheese grater.

Double Tap retains the first film's use of fourth wall breaks to compensate for a general lack of traditional exposition. Crafted with precision, it creates an effect of 4D cinema, in the sense that it involves viewer engagement, without actually needing the gimmicks associated with the medium.

The characters are mostly the same too, though they're all a little grown up. That feels like a bit of lost potential, particularly around halfway in the film, where it introduces two others who are exactly the same as Columbus and Tallahassee, to a muted effect. The comedy is also good, with the film relying on its trusted slapstick, cartoonish violence, but some of it certainly doesn't stick. It also falls into the trap of practically repeating the third act of its predecessor.

Overall, Zombieland: Double Tap is an okay sequel. It's got the heart of the original, though not necessarily the entirety of its wit. Like the zombies in the film, however, it does offer some new, fun things to watch.

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