Zombieland Double Tap Movie Review: The Land of Halfdeads Still Produces Good Jokes
Zombieland: Double Tap
Cast: Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone
Director: Ruben Fleischer
We’re back to the same space of the ‘different’ 2009 horror-comedy Zombieland, and it’s still funny, though not very satisfying. The actors are spontaneous and know what they’re doing with the script, even if it eventually makes them laugh on their own dialogues.
Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), Wichita (Emma Stone) and Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) are still wandering in the land of the half-deads who seem to have developed better immunity and agility against bullets and beatings. They call it T-800 for the love of the Terminator, but unlike the first film, this one is more about their inward journey than finding a safe house.
The characters have aced the survival techniques by now, so they can seek solace in love and Elvis Presley. You know how important songs are for these people! There are references to Presley’s songs and suggestion on how it could save the world from collapsing, quite literally.
Then there are hippies, redheads and blondes reconfirming our faith in stereotypes. Some of the gags land well though, like the initial parts involving Zoey Deutch, but the catch is to not wait for any change of traits.
One remarkable feat the director Ruben Fleischer (Gangster Squad, Venom) achieved with the previous film was spontaneity of the characters to the changing circumstances. He has maintained the same tempo here. Double Tap is fast enough to not let you slip into slumber and engaging enough for Eisenberg and Stone to communicate with us without obstructions.
Actually, it’s a fan trip. At one point, Tallahassee and Columbus meet two other, identical in traits, zombie crusaders. This scene may not look extraordinary on paper but Eisenberg and Harrelson, with help from Thomas Middleditch and Luke Wilson, have changed it into a hilarious conversation. In one go, they take shots at earlier zombie films, cowboy stories and the original film. In fact, Harrelson even says ‘Nut up or shut up,’ and Stone unflinchingly says, ‘You need to come up with a new dialogue.’ Scenes like this make Double Tap an enjoyable film.
It may not appear more than an extension of the original sleeper hit, but it’s mostly meant for fans. You won’t get some jokes if you don’t remember what happened in the first film.
Zombieland Double Tap is a crisp tale with few zombies around and actors regaling in the past. In 2019, it wouldn’t seem really great to many but there’s definitely no dearth of entertainment. And yes, Bill Murray kills it in the post credit scene. 99-minutes shouldn’t be too long to wait for him.
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