There’s a ten-year gap between Zombieland (2009) and the sequel, but Zombieland: Double Tap, actually, is a same-old-brand-new movie. Everyone and everything returns—including the stars and the iconic gags, e.g., zombie-survival rules and the “Zombie Killing of the Week” intermezzo. The only new element is a new breed of zombie—a faster, smarter, hungrier, and more durable one.
What happened off-screen during the gap had been way more interesting. Director Ruben Fleischer had crafted three more lukewarm movies, including Venom. Writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick had made two highly successful Deadpool movies. Woody Harrelson had got two Oscars nominations and an Emmy nomination; Jesse Eisenberg had an Oscars nomination and a role in DCEU; Emma Stone had an Oscars (with La La Land), and Abigail Breslin is no longer a teenager (her Oscars days had come prior to the first movie). In the movie, however, nothing seems to change at all; but, of course, a completely different Breslin.
Double Tap has all the formula that makes Zombieland a cleverly exhilarating zombie apocalypse comedy. It has all the energy to make the zombie-killing a satisfying spectacle. The thing is, Double Tap exploits all the fun elements from the first movie in the exactly same ways as the original. While some works like a zero-in fan service; some fell miserably to the repetitive pits. Lacking creativity is possibly the best way not to ruin Zombieland legacy; but, this time Fleischer and co. takes it to far. Even, if you haven’t seen the first movie, the only thing you will miss will be the reason why the characters are named after cities. The Murray-ing spoof, on the other hand, is a golden content.
This sequel, however, manages to slip on some new characters, including Zoey Deutch’s (Everybody Wants Some) Madison, whose role is often relegated as a punchbag of the characters’ sarcastic sense of humor. Rosario Dawson’s arc featuring Eisenberg-Harrelson’s doppelgangers somehow plays a self-aware commentary on how the sequel has been doing so far. And yet, this arc calms down as quickly as it fires up.
Rumour has it that Zombieland: Double Tap had had a Justice League-level post-production with troubles in editing rooms and endless reshoots. If the rumor is true, the third act of this sequel unravels how messed up everything was. However, it’s quite magical that the rest of the movie doesn’t feel disjointed. If anything, it only lacks the creativity that makes the first movie a well-acclaimed piece.
In overall, Double Tap has almost everything to make it a legit follow-up to the wickedly clever Zombieland but a coherent plot and a nailed-down closure