Tapping the sharp writing and snide humour that made the 2009 original a cult favourite, belated sequel Zombieland: Double Tap is just as much fun.
In the decade since they delivered one of the all-time great zom-coms, director Ruben Fleischer made Venom and writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick scripted Deadpool – cool credits to relaunch Zombieland to a new audience. Slipping effortlessly back into their comic creation, along with the returning cast, it’s like they’ve never been away.
Older but no less snarky, Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) are now contentedly holed up in The White House. (Woody Harrelson for President? Yes, please!) But when Little Rock decides to leave the nest and hooks up with the peacenik Berkeley (Avan Jogia), Tallahassee’s paternal instincts (and hatred of hippies) kicks in, resulting in a road trip – via Graceland – to bring her back into the fold.
While acknowledging the explosion of zombie entertainment that’s appeared since the original, Double Tap doesn’t do a whole lot differently beyond adding some new survivors to the central foursome, and a zombie evolution that has produced dim ‘Homers’ and unstoppable ‘T-800s’. The rules haven’t changed, and that’s actually a good thing. If it ain’t broke…
With the key cast’s verbal repartee still firing from both barrels, it’s the newcomers that add extra comedic spark to the often shambolic proceedings – most notably the scene-stealing Zoey Deutch as a blonde princess who, as Tallahassee observes, “only survived because zombies eat brains and she doesn’t have any.” Rosario Dawson makes a perfect match for Woody, and Luke Wilson and Thomas Middleditch pop up as a deja-vu double act.
Keeping fan service at a premium and culminating in a bigger and more badass battle sequence, Zombieland: Double Tap doesn’t disappoint. It also saves its best gag for the end credits, so be sure to stick around.
In cinemas: October 17, 2019
Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone
Directed by: Ruben Fleischer