Review: Zombieland: Double Tap delivers wise-cracking, brain-splattering fun

Enlarge / Columbus, Tallahassee, Wichita, and Little Rock face a new kind of zombie in Zombieland 2: Double Tap.YouTube/Sony Pictures

The makeshift family unit that slays together stays together in Zombieland: Double Tap, Director Ruben Fleischer's follow-up to his 2009 hit film Zombieland. This hotly anticipated sequel succeeds in recapturing much of the original's magic, with plenty of wit, gore, and playful callbacks to delight diehard fans. And let's just say you'll definitely want to hang around through the closing credits.

(Some spoilers below.)

In the first Zombieland, a virulent form of human-adapted mad cow disease sweeps across the United States, transforming most of the nations populace into ravenous zombies. The film follows a ragtag group of unlikely survivors—Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), and orphaned sisters Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin)—on a road trip in hopes of finding some place yet untouched by the disease, ending with a pitched battle against zombie hordes in an abandoned amusement park. Audiences (myself included) loved the mix of horror and dark screwball comedy, especially the "Zombie Kills of the Week" and Columbus's hilarious survival rules—cardio, limber up, beware of bathrooms, and buckle up, for instance—often illustrated by various doomed souls who failed to heed those rules. It was a fresh, fun take on the "zom-com" format.

While the original cast expressed enthusiasm for a sequel in the wake of Zombieland's success, the project languished for several years. All four main cast members have been nominated for Academy Awards, and Emma Stone actually won the Best Actress Oscar for her role in La La Land (2016). Fortunately, each of them retained sufficient fondness for their Zombieland experience to return for the sequel. They're clearly still having a blast with these characters, aided this time around by cast newcomers Zoey Deutch, Rosario Dawson, Avan Jogia, Luke Wilson, and Thomas Middleditch as additional survivors of the zombie apocalypse.

Ten years have passed for our protagonists in Zombieland: Double Tap—a reference to Columbus's Rule #2: don't get stingy with your bullets with zombies, shoot them twice to make sure they're dead. They've become a makeshift—rather dysfunctional—family unit, and they're a tightly disciplined zombie-killing team, eventually settling into the abandoned White House in what's left of Washington, DC, to satisfy Columbus' strong desire for a permanent home. Zombies have evolved, too, splintering into different subspecies. There are the "Homers" (as in Homer Simpson), the slow-moving, dim-witted classic Romero zombies; the "hawkings," which are faster and smarter; and the "ninjas," who sneak up on their victims and attack suddenly. There are also rumors of a newer breed of "super zombie," much more agile and significantly harder to kill.

  • Tallahassee's Twinkie totem decorates the grille of the Beast. YouTube/Sony Pictures
  • Battling zombies in what's left of DC. YouTube/Sony Pictures
  • Wichita and Little Rock, armed and ready. YouTube/Sony Pictures
  • The gang finds a once-prestigious new home. YouTube/Sony Pictures
  • Tallahassee thinks he'd make a terrific president. YouTube/Sony Pictures
  • Tallahassee tries to get his makeshift family into the holiday spirit. YouTube/Sony Pictures
  • Little Rock meets the man of her teenaged dreams. YouTube/Sony Pictures
  • Does Berkeley (Avan Jogia) look like the kind of guy who'd be carrying around a bunch of weed? YouTube/Sony Pictures
  • Columbus picks up stray survivor Madison (Zoey Deutch). YouTube/Sony Pictures
  • A "hawking" zombie. YouTube/Sony Pictures
  • Columbus ducks at just the right moment. YouTube/Sony Pictures
  • Nevada (Rosario Dawson) shows she's just as tough as the rest of the gang. YouTube/Sony Pictures
  • Tallahassee channels his inner Elvis. YouTube/Sony Pictures
  • R.I.P. the Beast. Death by Monster Truck. YouTube/Sony Pictures
  • Doppelgängers! Albuquerque (Luke Wilson) meets Tallahassee in full-on Elvis mode. YouTube/Sony Pictures
  • Flagstaff (Thomas Middleditch) is aRead More – Source
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