Zombieland: Double Tap Offers Nostalgia

Little Rock (Abigail Breslin), Wichita (Emma Stone), Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) and Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) in Columbia Pictures’ ZOMBIELAND: DOUBLE TAP.

Zombieland: Double Tap reunites the cast but the fact that the film uses the same formula as its predecessor can only work for so long.

The core four brings about a certain nostalgia.  While they are safe from zombies and living in the White House, the fun can only last for so long.  It isn’t long before Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) escapes this safe zone with Wichita (Emma Stone) and runs off for Graceland.  Everything changes when they meet Berkeley (Avon Jogia).  Almost as soon as the two run off, Madison (Zoey Deutch) joins the mix.  The first film is a cult classic so the question becomes how do you keep the film similar in tone but not exactly the same.  Enter Nevada (Rosario Dawson), Albuquerque (Luke Wilson), and Flagstaff (Thomas Middleditch).  This allows the film to mix things up while giving Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) a romantic interest.

While some of our favorite characters are finding love, zombies have changed things up over the last decade.  When it comes to the Zs–as Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) describes them–there are the Homers, Hawkings, and Ninjas.  To the filmmakers’ credit, they change things up a notch.  Zombies have evolved into what Columbus refers to as T-800s.  Or as Albuquerque and Flagstaff call them: Bolts, after Olympic medalist Usain Bolt.  It’s fun to watch these two play off of Columbus and Tallahassee.

The film isn’t afraid to have some fun and poke fun at the genre over the last decade.  I’m looking at you, The Walking Dead.  Meanwhile, “Murraying” has now become part of the vernacular.  Then there’s utilizing the White House a key setting at the start of the film.  This brings a lot of thoughts in its own right but I’m not about to dive into what it could possibly mean.

Listen, the film had me up until the scene that popped up during the credits.  All it takes is one controversial person to ruin a film.  In this case, it’s exactly what happened.  One scene took a perfectly fun and enjoyable film and ruined it.  This isn’t to say that the scene doesn’t have its moments because it does.  The scene would have otherwise been the perfect callback to the first Zombieland film.  It hurts to say that this scene alone left a sour taste upon leaving the theater.

Families all have their own problems.  What Zombieland: Double Tap shows is that the core four of this film is no different.  Sometimes, you just need to shake things up a bit to remind you of the important things in life.  This is exactly what the film does even if there’s a detour or two along the way.  Unfortunately, there’s just too much of the same formula despite the nostalgia at hand.

DIRECTOR:  Ruben Fleischer
SCREENWRITERS:  Rhett Reese & Paul Wernick and Dave Callaham
CAST: Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, Abigail Breslin, Rosario Dawson, Zoey Deutch, Luke Wilson, Avan Jogia, Thomas Middleditch

Columbia Pictures opens Zombieland: Double Tap in theaters on October 18, 2019. Grade: 3/5

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.