ZOMBIELAND 2: DOUBLE TAP review by Patrick Hendrickson – the zombie-fighting gang from 2009 returns

ZOMBIELAND 2: DOUBLE TAP review by Patrick Hendrickson – the zombie-fighting gang from 2009 returns

ZOMBIELAND 2: DOUBLE TAP is the sequel to the decade-old film that brought us a well-known list of rules for how to survive in a zombie apocalypse. The four leads from the first film all return in the same roles, which is impressive in and of itself. Those four would be Jesse Eisenberg as Columbus, Woody Harrelson as Tallahassee, Emma Stone as Wichita, and Abigail Breslen as Little Rock. The dynamics of their relationships have all changed by the beginning of DOUBLE TAP, with Columbus and Wichita having settled into a relationship, and Tallahassee taking a fatherly yet one-sided relationship with Little Rock.

The story kicks off early on with Wichita and Little Rock splitting from Columbus and Tallahassee without a word, rather a hastily-written letter. This leaves Columbus in a depressed slump, until the two come across another survivor named Madison (Zoey Deutch). Soon enough, Wichita returns with news that Little Rock has gone off on her own, and the crew sets off to find her.

What follows is a hilarious romp that starts in Washington DC, lands in Graceland (in Tennessee), before concluding in a massive commune of survivors known as “Babylon.” Along the way there is a decent bit of action, a couple of emotionally poignant moments, and humor that comes at a breakneck pace. The only moments of weakness when it comes to the comedy would be callbacks to jokes from the original production. Thankfully, there are not too many of these and most of the humor present within DOUBLE TAP comes from newly creative moments.

Along the way, the crew meets a small cast of new survivors. The aforementioned Madison is the stereotypical blonde ditz, but by far ends up being the comedic linchpin of the entire film. Rosario Dawson portrays “Nevada”, who has shacked up in an Elvis Presley museum. She’s a very slick character who Tallahassee immediately bonds with over a mutual love of The King. Luke Wilson and Thomas Middleditch portray “Albuquerque” and “Flagstaff” respectively. These form an uncomfortable doppelganger duo to Tallahassee and Columbus, complete with a list of commandments that match Columbus’ rules. These are all welcome additions to the cast, but sadly only Madison is given a major amount of screentime. Albuquerque and Flagstaff end up being pretty much a one-note joke which is unfortunate because their back and forth with the protagonists forms some great comedy. Nevada has more screentime than those two, but not nearly as much as Madison.

DOUBLE TAP’s story is probably its weakest aspect. A lot of convenient events just HAPPEN without much explanation or rationality. However, this is perfectly fine as the story is nothing more than a backdrop for all of the humor. This is a funny movie, plain and simple. A good mix of action, humor, and character development makes this sequel a massively enjoyable production. The basic story accomplishes its purpose and thankfully does not get in the way of the laughs. This outing does not wallow in its predecessor but instead dials things up to an absurdly funny amount, earning ZOMBIELAND 2: DOUBLE TAP an impressive 5/5.

ZOMBIELAND: DOUBLE TAP opens October 18, 2019

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