ZOMBIELAND: DOUBLE TAP – A Familiar Re-Tread

Created as a ten year anniversary re-visit film ZOMBIELAND: DOUBLE TAP sees a return of the fab four we came to love in the original. Kernel Blake reviews this one and shares his endless love for Jesse Eisenberg.

ZOMBIELAND: DOUBLE TAP is out now in all commercial cinemas in Australia from the fine folks at Sony Pictures. It is rated MA15+ and runs for 99mins. Enjoy Blake’s thoughts on the ZOMBIELAND sequel……all the best…..JK.

Zombieland: Double Tap Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Abigail Breslin and Emma Stone
Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Abigail Breslin and Emma Stone

BY BLAKE CURRALL

ZOMBIELAND: DOUBLE TAP DISCLAIMER:

Full disclaimer before we get into this review, I despise Jesse Eisenberg as an actor. So, ZOMBIELAND: DOUBLE TAP, starring Jesse Eisenberg (dammit!), comes 10 years after the original, surprisingly fun, ZOMBIELAND. The big question is, was it worth the wait or is it a brain dead, shambling corpse that needs a double tap to the head?

Zombieland: Double Tap Jesse Eisenberg and Woody Harrelson
Jesse Eisenberg and Woody Harrelson

BRAAAAAAIIIIIIIINNNNNNNNSSSSSSSS:

ZOMBIELAND: DOUBLE TAP begins with some expositional narration from Eisenberg’s character, Columbus, filling us in on what’s been happening in the 10 years since our quartet of zombie killers’ first escapade. The group have become experts at identifying different types of zombies and thanks to Columbus’ set of rules, have become adept at dispatching the shuffling undead.

Residing now in the White House, Columbus and Wichita (Emma Stone) are living in domestic monotony, while Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) has become a father figure to Little Rock (Abigail Breslin). Perhaps a little too much of a father figure. Little Rock feels alone, not having anyone her age to interact with, especially boys.

After a failed engagement pitch from Columbus to Wichita, the gents of the group awake the next day to find the girls have left them to carry on their apocalyptic life without them. Cut to several weeks later and Columbus and Tallahassee are perusing the local mall for poops and giggles, when they stumble across Madison (Zoey Deutsch), a blonde airhead who has survived all these years by hiding in a freezer.

Zombieland: Double Tap Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, Jesse Eisenberg and Luke Wilson
Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, Jesse Eisenberg and Luke Wilson

LESS OF A SEQUEL AND MORE OF A RETREAD:

Sparks fly, inexplicably, between Madison and Columbus (god I hate him) just in time for Wichita to return to create a bizarre love triangle and tell the group that Little Rock has disappeared with a hippy hitch hiker. The group set out in search of their lost compatriot and along the way discover a new breed of zombie, one that has evolved to be stronger, faster and harder to kill.

Much like the first film, ZOMBIELAND: DOUBLE TAP finds the group coming together in a highly illogical area, while having to fend off a horde of brain hungry undead against insurmountable odds. Unfortunately, this theme runs strong throughout the film, playing on the beats that were original ideas and worked so well in the original, only less successfully this time around. Apart from the addition of some fun new characters, with some not so original characteristics, and some inventive zombie kills, ZOMBIELAND: DOUBLE TAP feels less of a sequel and more of a retread of ZOMBIELAND’S greatest hits. Jokes are reused to varying levels of success and the female characters of the group are mainly pushed to the wayside for Harrelson and Eisenberg to garner more screen time.

Zombieland: Double Tap Emma Stone
Emma Stone

THE CAST:

Woody Harrelson is obviously having a ball in this role, playing a slightly dim-witted, southern boy that loves guns, girls and grisly zombie death. He delivers some of the best lines in the film, while Eisenberg is Eisenberg, the neurotic ‘brains’ of the group, who spends most of the film getting bailed out by other people.

Unfortunately, the women in the film get the short end of the stick, with Stone and Breslin given very little to do. Rosario Dawson makes a brief appearance as a badass love interest for Tallahassee but perhaps ZOMBIELAND: DOUBLE TAP’s best use of a female character is that of the blonde bimbo Madison. Skirting the line of pushing the act too far, Deutsch plays the character brilliantly, delivering some of the films biggest laughs with her dopey ways and being the biggest (and almost only) surprise in the movie.

Zombieland: Double Tap Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, Abigail Breslin and Rosario Dawson
Abigail Breslin, Rosario Dawson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone and Woody Harrelson

IN CONCLUSION:

With the original cast, director and writers returning for more ZOMBIELAND fun, you’d expect a more fun time. You’d expect after ten years of waiting, the script wouldn’t rely so much on past gags and action beats and be able to give us something a little fresher. If you enjoyed the first film, you’ll get a kick out of this as it’s pretty much the same thing done again. If you’re expecting something new and fresh or have a strong dislike for certain actors in the film, maybe give it a pass.

PS: Stay for the credits for one of the better moments of the film. ZOMBIELAND: DOUBLE TAP may not be great but the post credits scene does have a strong CADDYSHACK reference going for it. Which is nice.

YOUR CRITIC:

Kernel Blake is a part-time beard bandit, philanthropist, industrialist….bicyclist…photographer, world traveller, movie lover, a man of few words who enjoys the finer things in life. Like reciting Snake Plissken quotes. And when all that fails, heads out to a racetrack to do skids. He can be found twatting @bcurrall80 and hipstergramming @bcurrall80

** Images used are courtesy of various sources on Google or direct from the distributor or publisher. Credit has been given to photographers where known – images will be removed on request.