"Blood, Guts and Glory | ZOMBIELAND: DOUBLE TAP – Review"
Survivors and zombies and monster trucks, oh my!
The zombie genre has been holding strong for the last decade or so. Not that it ever “died,” but it amazes me how it’s been a solid form of entertainment from TV through the silver screen. Shows like THE WALKING DEAD and movies like WORLD WAR Z (among others) have been ground zero in projecting a not-so-pleasant display of what the zombie apocalypse can look and feel like (if such a thing ever were to exist). However, films like SHAUN OF THE DEAD and ZOMBIELAND have sprinkled a little humor, satire, and fun on it. No matter how you cut it, these films and TV shows have earned zombies a spot among pop-culture. Love it or hate it, you cannot ignore it. Mr. Romero set a trend that’ll live forever considering its overall scope encompasses death.
A decade after ZOMBIELAND became a cult classic, the lead cast (Harrelson, Eisenberg, Breslin, and Stone) have reunited with director Ruben Fleischer for a DOUBLE TAP. In this sequel, through horrid and comedic mayhem that stretches across this great nation, these four zombie slayers face off against the many new kinds of zombies that have evolved since the first movie, as well as new human survivors riddled with unique personalities who cause speed-bumps along the way. But most of all, they must face the growing pains of their unique, makeshift family.
If you’re a fan this series, then you’re in for a treat. There’s no way to put this other than DOUBLE TAP doubles down on all things crazy in this world where survival-of-the-fittest is an understatement. From the White House through the heartland, this movie is a lot of nonstop guts and glory fun. We now learn about the new kinds of zombies and what distinguished category they fall under, Little Rock (Breslin) has grown up and taken a different approach on life, Wichita (Stone) and Columbus (Eisenberg) have taken their relationship up a few notches (or so they think), and Tallahassee (Harrelson) continues to be the alpha with a stern approach on things and his own existence. These four set the pace and then things take a turn.
But as life plays out, scenarios allow this series to expand and introduce a whole new set of players joining our team of zombie slayers. If I had to describe the journey, I’d say it kinda felt like a grungy, dirty, apocalyptic version of THE WIZARD OF OZ as we start meeting new characters. Madison (Deutch) sets the pace living up to all “blonde stereotypes,” but winds up one of my favorites as the story evolves with her. Then, there’s Berkeley (Jogia), a hippie type who happens to be the reason why DOUBLE TAP’s journey starts. Nevada (Dawson), a take-no-sh*t, tough woman whose rough-around-the-edge persona serves our heroes well. And lastly, there’s Albuquerque (Wilson) and Flagstaff (Middleditch) who wind up being an enjoyable highlight in the movie with their brief yet, hilarious roles. (Won’t ruin it for you!)
While the narrative is formulaic, it’s outweighed by all the craziness it exposes throughout the movie’s run, as well as charming chemistry among the cast. It’s loud, funny, violent, sexual, explosive, and most of all…engaging! The inside jokes are greatly appreciated. You know what you’re embarking on as soon as the Columbia Pictures title card is displayed, which caused a lead-in burst of laughter seconds before the movie starts. If you’re able to leave your brain at the door, DOUBLE TAP is an enjoyable addition to the series. Not sure why the ten-year gap for a sequel, but I guess it was well worth the wait. Personally, I thought it didn’t suffer sequel curse. Watching the crew back together reignited that pleasurable, rare admiration of blending comedy and horror. It didn’t lose its gritty, witty grip, and I’m very thankful for it.
Grade: A / Genre: Comedy, Horror, Sequel / Rated: R / Run Time: 1:40
Starring: Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, Abigail Breslin, Rosario Dawson, Zoey Deutch, Thomas Middleditch, Avan Jogia, and Luke Wilson