A lot has changed in the world since 2009. Looking back, it seemed like a much simpler time then. We weren’t so dependent on technology, America wasn’t in complete disarray, and it kind of seemed like everyone was just in a good mood.
Now much has changed in the world of Zombieland, however. Sure, our characters may have gotten older, but everything seems to be roughly the same. The world is still overloaded with zombies, though now they have been classified in terms of how intelligent they are, actual humans are few and far between, and our foursome from the original film are still up to their old ways. Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) is still a gun-toting psycho who loves killing more than anything in the world. Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) is still as neurotic as ever and has created more rules than he had before. He is in a relationship with the badass Wichita (Emma Stone), who isn’t as in to the relationship as Columbus. But it’s Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) who has gone through the most change. Having lived with these three for most of her childhood, she begins to crave a different life. She wants to be with people her own age and wants a different life besides the one she has been living, which causes her to run off with the first boy she has met in nearly a decade, a guitar-playing hippie named Berkeley (Avan Jogia). This forces Tallahassee, Columbus, and Wichita to leave their comfortable and relatively safe home in the White House to go out searching for her.
On their road trip, the trio encounter a slew of new humans. While roaming a mall one day, Columbus encounters Madison (Zoey Deutch), a wildly ditzy, Ugg wearer who had survived by living in a freezer. She becomes the apple of Columbus’ eye after he and Wichita get into a fight. She tags along on their trip but not without causing some tension between Wichita and Columbus and saying things that make you question how she hasn’t been eaten yet (according to Tallahassee it’s because zombies eat brains and she doesn’t have any). Deutch gives my favorite performance in the film and really elevates the humor of Double Tap. The sentences that come out of her mouth are so dumb and her outlook on life is so bizarre, you have to wonder how somebody got to be this way. This is easily a character that could have been annoying or half-assed, but it isn’t. Deutch makes her interesting and hilarious. There’s a great mystery to Madison, but it isn’t where the character is from or how she survived in a freezer for so many years. It’s what crazy thing is she going to say next. I loved this performance and this could be a wild card pick for my Best Supporting Actress nominees at the end of the year.
The cross country journey takes the crew to a number of different places, including Elvis Presley’s home, Graceland, of which Tallahassee is obsessed with, as well as discover a super zombie they’ve labeled the T-800 on account of how hard it is to kill. There’s a lot of blood, gore, chaos, and comedy on this trip and director Ruben Fleischer keeps the same fun, violent, thrilling tone that made the original so great.
Double Tap also doubles down on the heart of Zombieland. The first film was about a few loners who came together to become a family. Double Tap looks at family turmoil and that old adage of, “you can’t pick your family.” Tallahassee as grown to become a father figure to Little Rock and when Little Rock wants to leave the nest, we watch as Tallahassee is witnessing the possible loss of another child while also accepting that people grow up. We also see the relationship of Columbus and Wichita and Wichita’s fear of opening up in this zombie-filled world world while Columbus realizes how great he has it with Wichita. It’s this emotional center that elevated Double Tap to more than just a bloody comedy.
There’s a ton of blood, a ton of laughs, an incredible mid-credit scene, and a lot of heart in Zombieland: Double Tap. This is a worthy sequel to the 2009 gem that makes me want them to do more with this franchise. I would be totally down if they decided to make a Zombieland every ten years. Why wouldn’t I want to see an 80-year-old Tallahassee shooting his uzi into the air while he breathes through an oxygen tank and rides around on his motorized scooter with the number three written on the side of it?
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