Zombieland: Double Tap

Jacob Richardson | 28/10/2019

A funny, gory and entertaining return to the Zombieland world that never really achieves the same zeitgeist as the original.


Ten years after the events of the first film, Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) are holed up in the White House. As they get older, however, Little Rock and Wichita start to get restless, and hit the road once again. When Little Rock gets caught up with a hippie pacifist and ditches her sister, however, Wichita returns to Tallahassee and Columbus, and together the three try and track down the wayward youngster. 


The original Zombieland felt like a fresh and new take on the zombie genre, and came out pre-The Walking Dead. Now, however, the gratuitous zombie kills and the perfunctory catch phrases feel 5 years too late rather than 5 years too early. So while director Ruben Fleitscher tries to make this feel fresh with some super-zombies and some neat little action sequences, it does frequently come across as stale and seen before. 


That goes double for the plot, which is threadbare to say the least. In particular, as the group approaches and eventually has to defend the hippie commune Babylon, the film becomes increasingly difficult to engage with. 


In the place of incredible plot or intrigue, one has to hope that the comedy sustains. And in many respects, Double Tap is very funny. The combination of Harrelson, Eisenberg and Stone is frequently hilarious, and the writing is as sharp as ever, so the laughs flow freely and frequently. But again, even though many of the laughs are strong, and quite a few take aim at the outdated humor of the original, there are tremendous swathes of failures. A number of jokes don’t land, and a number land but without the same punch as the original would have. 


That being said, it is difficult to imagine a more stellar cast returning to deliver this material. Stone, Harrelson and Eisenberg have all become bonafide megastars since the original, and getting them back makes this feel both legitimate, and less of a cult film than the original. 


An admirable attempt at recapturing the magic of Zombieland.