It’s time to nut up or shut up.” – Tallahassee

Exactly ten years after Zombieland, its sequel has finally risen from what seemed to be dead. The zombie genre has been milked out, after numerous seasons of hit tv-show ‘The Walking Dead‘ and its spin-offs. Why wait a decade to make a sequel to a film that was well received by critics and moviegoers?

The entire gang is back. Little Rock (Abigail Breslin), Wichita (Emma Stone), Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) and Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) have figured out the different kinds of zombies and have taken refuge in The White House. Many years have gone by and just like most families, they fight and bicker but know deep down they love each other. When Little Rock decides to run off with a guy she ran into on some deserted pathway, it’s up to her family to go looking for her. A new zombie species has risen from the grave – T-800’s are faster, smarter and harder to kill and will stop at nothing once they’ve set their eyes on a meaty meal.

Ruben Fleischer (Venom) is back to direct the sequel to his Zombieland, as are writers Rhett Reese (Deadpool) and Paul Wernick (Deadpool 2), joined by Dave Callaham (Godzilla). A decade has passed, which means a whole new generation has had the time to discover and love/loathe the original. Lucky for them, they’ve kept a similar formula to the first part and spiced it up with a ton of pop culture references and winks at the original, to please older and younger viewers. Although I think this film is purely made for the fans of Zombieland, I do think this is one is better written and thought through. The punny jokes land over and over again, while the action is more graphic, inventive and fun to watch. Combine that with some great make-up and unfortunately some really sketchy CGI and out of focus camera angles, and you’ve got a pretty decent zombie flick at your hands.

The original cast is back, which shows Emma Stone is a group player, coming fresh off an Oscar win for her role in La La Land – something many award winning actresses wouldn’t even think of doing. Stone is especially great at face acting and her and fellow comedy star Eisenberg have great comedic timing. Harrelson, who embodies more conservative America, does this in a funny and respectful way. His surrogate father relationship with Breslin is sweet and makes up for some hilarious reactions, when finding out she’s ran off with hippie Berkeley (Avan Jogia). The weakest link of the bunch is without a doubt Abigail Breslin. I do think this is the writers’ fault, since her character doesn’t have much to do and is more of a plot device than a fleshed out character.

As for new supporting characters, the women just simply rule! A strong Rosario Dawson (Luke Cage) pops up in the second half of the film as a motel owner in Graceland, which makes Tallahassee feel all sorts of “tender”. She gets joined by Tallahassee and Columbus lookalikes, Albuquerque (Luke Wilson) and Flagstaff (Thomas Middleditch), which makes for a hilarious second act that keeps everything exciting with a well-choreographed-longtake-action-sequence. The scene stealer throughout the entire film is without a doubt Zoey Deutch (Netflix’s The Politician). The dressed in pink, platinum dumb blonde Madison is a joy as soon as she pops up in a candle store. Her acting is superb and I couldn’t help but think of her as Emma Stone in Easy A – for which she received a Golden Globe-nomination. This is her best work yet, can’t wait to see her in new and challenging project in the near future.

Zombieland: Double Tap is badass fun, which becomes one of those rare sequels that’s even better than the original. 2009-throwback-jokes and an action packed new world to explore, make this joy ride fly by.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Review – Zombieland: Double Tap

Reviewed at Event Cinemas, Sydney, Oct. 16, 2019 (Sony Pictures Screening). CBA Rating: MA15. Running time: 99 MIN.

PRODUCTION: A Sony Pictures Releasing release of a Columbia Pictures, Pariah production. Producer: Gavin Polone. Executive producers: Doug Belgrad, David Bernad, Ruben Fleischer, Jack Heller, Rhett Reese, Rebecca Rivo, Paul Wernick.

CREW: Director: Ruben Fleischer. Screenplay: Dave Callaham, Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick. Camera (color, widescreen): Chung-hoon Chung. Editors: Chris Patterson, Dirk Westervelt. Music: David Sardy.

WITH: Abigail Breslin, Emma Stone, Zoey Deutch, Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Rosario Dawson, Avan Jogia, Luke Wilson, Thomas Middleditch, Bill Murray.  

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