Zombieland: Double Tap (2019) is the worthy sequel fans have been anticipating for ten years! And I’m here to say that the wait was worth it. If you’re familiar with the 2009 post-apocalyptic comedy starring Jesse Eisenberg as Columbus, Woody Harrelson as Tallahassee, Emma Stone as Wichita, and Abigail Breslin as Little Rock, then you’re well aware of the various hilarious and gory scenes that revolve around these characters killing zombies in ridiculously cool ways.
As I went into the theater with my family to see the long-awaited sequel, I had to remind myself not to take the movie and its plot too seriously. The Zombieland franchise isn’t like the more serious zombie-related movies and television shows that are so popular today. The narration from Columbus throughout both movies and the interactive text that display his rules for survival in the scenes are a clear indication of the franchise’s self-awareness for its comedic take on the apocalyptic genre.
As I continue with this review of Double Tap, I want to warn you of plot points I’ll be talking about and potential spoilers in order to give my full opinion. Tread lightly!
So the sequel, as I said, opens up with Columbus’s narration of the film’s universe the audience has become well acquainted with after watching the first movie thousands of times. Zombieland continues to be inhabited by flesh-eating, disease-ridden people, but Columbus explains how the surviving humans in the post-apocalyptic world have distinguished the different “breeds” or kinds of zombies there are. In some quick introductory scenes of the zombies chasing after defenseless humans, the dumbest breed is called a Homer (after the iconic, idiotic Simpsons character), the intelligent and resourceful breed are called Hawkings (named after Stephen Hawking), and the stealthy, well-hidden breed are called Ninjas.
The gang is back together again, and they kick butt as great as ever in a cool slow-motion kill scene (echoing scenes from the first movie) where they have to mow through a ton of zombies in order to get onto the grounds of the White House where they intend to make that their new home. I love that the large, entertaining text listing out Columbus’s rules make another appearance in this film. They’re carefully placed on the screen as a hilarious reminder to the audience of what’s happening according to his survival strategies. There are also a few new additions to his list of rules that make perfect sense after spending years on the road with his Zombieland family.
Life seems pretty routine for the untraditional family, but this also creates an issue with the youngest character, Little Rock. The movie sets up the primary conflict around Abigail Breslin’s character and her need to get away from the people she’s been traveling with for years in order to be her own person and be around people her own age. The only problem with that, as Tallahassee points out, is that it’s dangerous to go out there alone and there are most likely not a lot of survivors out there.
The sequel sets up a similar plot line as the first where the characters are constantly searching for a place to settle down where they can be both happy and safe in this weird, zombie-infested world.
The humor in this movie is bumped up to eleven, and it’s probably the thing I love most about it! The main cast and the new characters bounce off of each other so well, and the comedic scenes don’t feel too cliché or ridiculous (there’s still lots of absurdity, but it’s a Zombieland movie so that’s to be expected). My sister and I were cracking up in the theater at one of the new characters named Madison, played by Zoey Deutch. She’s quirky, dim-witted, but funny as can be in her performance.
There is also a highly entertaining climactic battle against a new, more threatening strain of zombies that become almost impenetrable to bullets and faster on their feet. This last act of the movie was incredibly exciting to watch as the humans battled a hoard of new enemies. It’s just as gory and action-packed as I imagined!
It’s a great movie filled with humor, fast-paced action, and plenty of heart all at the appropriate times. If you’ve seen the first Zombieland and you loved it as much as I did, then go check the sequel out in theaters right now. I guaranteed you’ll be entertained.