Welcome back, friends! Barbarella here to rave about how much fun I had watching ZOMBIELAND: DOUBLE TAP. The trailer didn’t inspire me all that much, so going into the theater, I had limited expectations regarding this follow-up to the super-fun film that entertained me a decade ago. Wait, a decade ago? Wow, it doesn’t seem that long ago. Crazy.
As we re-enter Zombieland, Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) updates us on how things have changed. He reveals that these days, they encounter different types of zombies, and that some zombies have evolved into smarter, stronger, and faster zombies. I find this problematic since zombies are undead eating machines. Evolution generally happens through reproduction, so I’m puzzled by how some zombies are able to shift from the shuffling, DAWN-OF-THE-DEAD-style zombies to the super-fast 28-DAYS-LATER-type zombies. I mean, normal zombies becoming super-zombies feels a little too far-fetched.
Although, I briefly think maybe something similar to what happens in a short film called “Undeadicated” could be an explanation. I saw the short a few years ago about a guy who feels unchallenged by the zombie apocalypse and may have a way to make it more difficult. If you’re curious, check it out.
Even though in Zombieland, the zombies supposedly evolved, in a later scene, they seem far less evolved. That kind of feels off to me, but ultimately, who cares? This isn’t a film you watch for its realism and thought-provoking theories. It’s supposed to be fun, and in that regard, it succeeds.
Early on, we get to witness some great zombie slaughter to Metallica’s “Master of Puppets” which sets the tone. To my delight, DOUBLE TAP is tonally consistent with its predecessor, so fans of the original will likely enjoy this one too.
Columbus, Little Rock (Abigail Breslin), Tallahasse (Woody Harrelson), and Wichita (Emma Stone) are back, and the banter is everything you’d expect. But we also have new people. Zoey Deutch, Rosario Dawson, Avan Jogia, Luke Wilson, and Thomas Middleditch join the cast this time around, infusing something new and fresh into the mix. I confess that when I first saw the trailer, I was disappointed that Michael Cera wasn’t cast as Flagstaff, who is essentially Columbus’ dopplegänger. Because he and Jesse Eisenberg get mixed up a fair amount, I thought he’d be the perfect choice for the role. But hey, mark your calendars because I was wrong! Thomas Middleditch (Silicon Valley) is so perfect in the role, I cannot imagine anyone other than him doing it.
Perhaps my favorite addition, and one I didn’t expect to enjoy as much, is Zoey Deutch (BEFORE I FALL) as vacuous Madison. The character is a blonde bimbo who seems more eye-candy than dimension, yet Zoey Deutch somehow manages to give her some depth through her performance. A surprising number of her scenes elicit laughter, and she’s one of my favorite things about DOUBLE TAP. I didn’t expect to like the cookie-cutter, stereotypical character, but I love her.
I had so much fun watching this film. ZOMBIELAND: DOUBLE TAP is full of loud music, fun kills, lots of laughs, and some insanity, making it worth the price of admission. If you’re into those kinds of things, of course. Clearly, I am. Also, there are a couple short scenes in the credits I enjoy. One occurs early on, and the other shows up after the last credits roll. Both are worth sticking around to catch.
aka Barbara Kennedy