“When you love something, you shoot it in the face…”
Zombieland was pretty much an instant cult classic upon release back in 2009. A cheeky update on its natural precursor Shaun of the Dead, Ruben Fleischer’s debut picture was an irreverent take on the end of the world – something we could all use right about now. Zombieland was never a film that screamed sequel however, and ten years later, there certainly wasn’t a clamour for a follow up. And yet, here we are…
Not much has changed for our heroes since we left them a decade ago, Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) is still a belligerent asshat who struggles with goodbyes, Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) is still a neurotic obsessive and Wichita (Emma Stone) has still got no time for their shit. The only character who has undergone a transformation is Little Rock (Abigail Breslin). A mere child first time round, Little Rock is now looking to branch out on her own – much to the consternation of her father figure, Tallahassee.
While it is joyous to see these characters reunited and their sparkling chemistry remains undimmed, the new additions to the cast are not so welcome. Zoey Deutch does a fantastic job with downright rancid material as the airheaded ‘typical blonde’ Madison (yes, this is a real character in 2019), Rosario Dawson is given little to do as the admittedly badass Nevada and even Luke Wilson and Silicon Valley’s Thomas Middleditch struggle to find the funny side of playing alternative versions to, the already highly characterized, main cast. These are tired jokes and the cast deserve better.
Zombieland: Double Tap perhaps doesn’t quite justify its own existence, but it is a lot of fun in places and if you can ignore the more cringeworthy elements to the film, then there is a lot to enjoy here – not least a wonderful post credits appearance from Bill Murray, which is worth the admission fee alone. This sequel is certainly not a classic, not even compared to the original, but worth watching? Definitely.