'Zombieland: Double Tap' Not As Fresh But Still Has Some Life Left

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HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
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CHICAGO - Zombieland: Double Tap lacks the freshness or the belly laughs of its predecessor, but I was surprised to see that this outrageously overqualified cast has not worn out its welcome. It’s ridiculous that three Oscar nominees and one Oscar winner headline a movie devoted solely to blowing zombies up. But when you employ Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, and Abigail Breslin, you’re going to get some unexpected surprises.

Showing no rust, despite the 10 years between flicks, Harrelson and Eisenberg have an easy-going yin and yang chemistry as Tallahassee and Columbus. Stone is a tough girl afraid of commitment and being tied down by Eisenberg’s nervous neediness. While Breslin longs to leave the nest and get out on her own looking for people her own age.

Photo credit: Columbia Pictures

The zombies are now faster and more advanced this time around. And they’ve evolved into different types with new names such as homer, hawking, and t-800. The pop-culture references are as prevalent as ever. This should come as no surprise since the same screenwriting team behind the first Zombieland and this one also gave us that wizard of wisecracks Deadpool. They don’t have quite the same zing as they used to but they come at such a clip you don’t seem to mind because another one will come along any second.

This is essentially a zombie hang out movie, with the four characters smashing zombies at a regular clip first while holding up inside the White House. But when Breslin meets up with a hippie from Berkley they run away for a gun-free commune known as Babylon. So the rest of the characters have to hit the road to find her. Eisenberg managed a few unexpected laughs for me again this time around, whether it’s his nervous wordplay, or the fact that talking to a girl seems equally as terrifying if not more so than fighting off a creature of the undead. And Emma Stone gets plenty of mileage out of her tough girl routine who won’t take any crap from anyone, undead or otherwise.

Photo credit: Columbia Pictures

Zombieland: Double Tap adds plenty of new characters as well this time around. They range from mildly amusing, Luke Wilson and Thomas Middleditch doing bizarro-world versions of Harrelson and Eisenberg, to outright annoying, Zoey Deutch doing a stale Paris Hilton routine, with Rosario Dawson somewhere in between. The first Zombieland is not one that I’ve revisited that often in the years since its release. This one has plenty of meta sequel dialogue welcoming the audience back for seconds. I laughed heartily at the first film, I chuckled at this one. I sense the filmmakers need to quit while they’re ahead.

“Zombieland: Double Tap” opens everywhere on October 18th. Featuring Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, Abigail Breslin, Zoey Deutch, and Rosario Dawson. Screenplay by Dave Callaham, Rhett Reese, and Paul Wernick. Directed by Ruben Fleischer. Rated “R”

HollywoodChicago.com contributor Spike Walters


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