Zombieland: Double Tap
Director: Ruben Fleischer
Cast: Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Abigail Breslin, Emma Stone, Rosario Dawson, Zoey Deutch, and Luke Wilson.
It has been 10 years since the first Zombieland movie, an uproariously hilarious comedy that arguably help refresh and redefine the zombie genre.
Since then, we've seen zombies take over television with The Walking Dead, Korean film adding its own stellar take on the genre with Train To Busan, Brad Pitt single-handedly taking on a world of zombies in World War Z, and even a YA zombie movie (Warm Bodies) that made us want to eat our own brains.
With The Walking Dead wearily staggering into its tenth season, and interest in zombie movies gradually waning, it seems fitting to have Zombieland back in cinemas to bookend a decade of fine zombie fare, and maybe give the genre another restart with a deserved double tap to the head.
In case you've forgotten, the first Zombieland introduced us to a world in which a majority of the human population are zombies. The geeky Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg in one of his early breakthrough roles) managed to survive thanks to his own list of 'rules' (#1: Cardio, #2: Double tap). He then meets the bloodthirsty zombie-killer Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), and sisters Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin), and they form a close-knit group that in this new film, has become quite skilled at hunting and killing zombies.
At the start of Double Tap, we see the quartet turning the White House into their new home. But Little Rock soon grows restless with not having friends her own age around (as well as Tallahassee's over-protectiveness), and after Columbus sends Wichita reeling with an unexpected proposal, the sisters leave the group.
After meeting another survivor – a ditzy blonde called Madison (Zoey Deutch) – they decide to go after the girls, a journey that leads them to Graceland, and a hippie community of survivors called Babylon.
10 years is a long time between sequels, but it's credit to director Ruben Fleischer and his star-studded cast that Zombieland: Double Tap feels just as fresh as it came out back in 2009.
While the plot just consists of the gang moving from place to place and killing zombies in the most creative and gory ways, it's the interaction between the four stars that make this such an entertaining ride.
Eisenberg and Stone's careers have high stratospheric heights since the first movie was released, so it's great to see them back in light comedy mode for this one, but it's Harrelson who stands out once more, reprising what is arguably one of his most entertaining roles of his career.
At first, the superficiality of Deutch's character might grate a little, but she acts as a foil for the core characters to play off from, which in turn helps freshen up the group's dynamics somewhat.
To be honest, I was just happy to watch a zombie movie that doesn't take itself too seriously, especially after a decade of morose, grim fare from The Walking Dead and a distinct lack of zombie comedies like the original Zombieland or Shaun Of The Dead.
Heck, Double Tap doesn't even have a proper antagonist to threat for the characters to pit their wits against (unless you count the new hard-to-kill 'T-800'-type zombies).
If you want a zombie flick that explores the emotions and scenarios fo surviving in a zombie-filled world, go watch The Walking Dead. Double Tap is the complete opposite of that – a breezy affair with a great cast, hilarious banter, and lots and lots of gory zombie-killings.
Gives the flagging zombie genre a welcome shot to the arm.