I’ll admit: I’ve never had much of an affinity with zombie comedies, or zombie films in general. Whatever the various reasons or influences were, they weren’t my thing. Whether it was the fear that some directors associated zombies with, the costumes and makeup that went into these pseudo-beings, or the sheer disgust and revolting display that must coincide with them. There never seemed to be any heart involved… they seemed all too brainless. Apologies, I could go on.
Yet when I discovered the world of Zombieland (2009), my view towards this subgenre changed a bit. Amidst the gore and post-apocalyptic scenario, there was heart in the surviving characters. There was wit behind the humor and a sense of depth even, to these characters. And while its sequel, Zombieland: Double Tap, opening this weekend, doesn’t quite live up to its predecessor, the sequel still offers plenty of fun, a fresh delivery of humor, and enough zombie sequences to satisfy the diehards. I said I could keep going.
Watch It: If you want to laugh often, see some fine performances once again from the lead actors, and can get past or desire some zombie smashing.
Skip It: If you want a substantial film with complexity, a serious or dark tone, and that’s free from violence or gore.
Interestingly, for a movie with ample amounts of gore and destruction, Double Tap kept a surprisingly lighthearted tone, even when compared to the original. In this case, that isn’t all positive. Double Tap does suffer from some of the typical trappings of a sequel. The format seems awfully similar to the first film, and while there are some welcomed new characters to Z-land, we don’t have an entirely original story here.
Yet its Emma Stone and new addition Zoey Deutch who carry both solid and comical peformances throughout. I got the sense that Stone still gave it her all, even ten years and numerous accolades later. And Deutch in some ways steals the comedic show. Playing a ditsy survivor in Zombieland, she offers many laughs, especially when paired opposite to Stone. Jesse Eisenberg and Woody Harrelson also return, yet there’s a contrasting sense that they’re there more out of celebrating the first film’s success, acting in a more screwball fashion than in the original.
Zombieland: Double Tap receives a recommendation from me for those interested, even if it may not offer as much to chew on as its predecessor. ; ) This is a formulaic film that’s funny throughout, even if some jokes at times fall a bit flat. For those who were definite fans of the 2009 film, Double Tap will most likely satisfy those same zom-com viewers this time around as a fun movie for the Fall season.
Zimm Score: 6.5/10