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Thursday, November 7, 2019

Review: Zombieland: Double Tap

Director: Ruben Fleischer
Screenplay: Dave Callahan, Rhett Reese, and Paul Wernick
Year: 2019

“Zombieland”, released in 2009, quickly became a cult favorite for horror movie lovers. This horror-comedy sublimely mixes extreme gore and violence with moments of pure comedy that are only remembered in “Shaun of the Dead”, another beloved horror-comedy by fans of this genre and that casually has zombies as the main topic. Ten years later, repeating the original group of actors, director, and screenwriters arrives the awaited sequel “Zombieland: Double Tap”.

In “Zombieland: Double Tap” ten years have gone by since the events in “Zombieland” and not much has changed for the foursome of survivors, who have installed themselves in the White House. Little Rock feels more restless every time to interact with people of her own age until one day she decides to escape to do this and ends up meeting the pacifist Berkeley. While Wichita, Columbus, and Tallahassee are dedicated to finding her, they find out that there is a new breed of zombies that have evolved and are harder to kill.

Since the start of the movie, director Ruben Fleischer (“Venom”) makes clear that he will follow and updated and upgraded version of the formula that made “Zombieland” so popular. As can be expected from reading the title, it emphasizes the rules Columbus developed to ensure his survival and their description on screen is used again in creative ways. The most important rule, the double-tap, is not only one of the most important for surviving but is also an essential part of the plot.

The movie opens with a great scene where the quartet that captivated so many fans in “Zombieland” are faced with a situation that forces Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg; “The Social Network”), Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson; “Natural Born Killers”), Wichita (Emma Stone; “The Amazing Spider-Man”), and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin; “Signs”) to open fire to a group of zombies while Master of Puppets blasts; a memorable scene. As in the original movie, this scene is used to establish the violent tone and the foundation in which the plot will be developed. 

Violence and comedy alongside excellent acting were key in the success of “Zombieland” and are again in “Zombieland: Double Tap”. Unfortunately, the script by Dave Callahan (“Godzilla”), Rhett Reese (“Deadpool”), and Paul Wernick (“Deadpool”), the first two who wrote the script for “Zombieland, doesn’t present a story on par with these elements. The plot is not as interesting as it supposes and as the wait time suggests, it introduces several characters that end up being irrelevant to the story only to add a few comedy scenes, and it starts losing steam about halfway through the movie to end up in an absurd ending, done at such a fast pace that it feels sloppy, even when it tries to do the opposite. 

“Zombieland: Double Tap” is a good sequel for the cult classic “Zombieland” that uses the same formula that made the first one popular but in a less effective way. It has the same great acting, comedy moments and gore, in a plot that deflates as it goes by and in the end feels a bit rushed. Those who enjoyed “Zombieland” will certainly enjoy “Zombieland: Double Tap” but be advised that this sequel doesn’t get to the level of the original. Those who decide to watch it should stay until the very end to enjoy a post-credit scene.

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