Starring: Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone
Director: Ruben Fleischer
Running Time: 99 mins
Zombieland: Double Tap is an American film and the sequel to Zombieland. Years after their first adventures together, Tallahassee, Columbus and Wichita are forced to venture out into the wilderness of the undead after Little Rock runs away.
I loved the first Zombieland. Hilarious, exciting, inventive and an impressively atmospheric portrayal of the zombie apocalypse, it’s a great watch and one of the most memorable zom-coms of the last decade. Did it need a sequel? Perhaps not, but Zombieland: Double Tap too proves a thoroughly entertaining watch, not quite reaching the heights of its predecessors, but still featuring some really great laughs throughout.
One thing that’s often difficult to get right with comedy sequels is offering up a story that feels familiar enough to be easy-going and enjoyable, but equally different enough to prove its own worth. Double Tap doesn’t quite manage when it comes to the latter, with the film generally playing out in the same manner to the original.
Fortunately, however, with a story that prioritises laughs over intrigue, that isn’t an enormous problem, and while this film may often come across as a rather simplistic follow-up, it still has enough of the charisma and comedic energy of the first film to really entertain.
Often recapturing the rather anarchic take on the zombie comedy, Double Tap is full of great laughs. Along with taking aim at the undead, you’ve got some really strong, character-driven humour, as well as a good heap of pure slapstick that, while not necessarily the smartest, had me laughing out loud on a number of occasions.
The lead performances, too, are just as strong as the last movie, and although ten years on the previous quartet that seemed like a match made in heaven isn’t quite as solid, the likes of Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg and Emma Stone are still great to watch in the lead roles, bringing back all the charisma and energy that helped to make the first film so entertaining.
As far as comedy sequels go, Zombieland: Double Tap does more than a decent job at recapturing the fun factor of its predecessor. However, the one thing that it doesn’t quite manage is to portray the world of the zombie apocalypse in quite as striking fashion as the original.
While the fear factor is still there to an extent with the arrival of ever-stronger zombie adversaries, the potent sense of eeriness and danger lurking round every corner isn’t quite present here in the way that it was in the first film. As a result, many of the main gang’s confrontations with the zombies feel a lot less threatening, and while they’re still good fun to watch, they really don’t have the same excitement value, nor do they form a part of the wider, overbearing atmosphere of the dog-eat-dog post-apocalyptic world.
As a result, there are some things about Zombieland: Double Tap that don’t quite work, and certainly not as well as the original film. Saying that, however, it’s a thoroughly enjoyable watch, with good performances, fun action and some great laughs throughout, all of which is why I’m giving it a 7.5 overall.