In the ten years that it took to make Zombieland: Double Tap. Ten years, Oscar wins, multiple nominations, two Deadpool movies are written and made by the writing team, and Abigail Breslin grew up. And it speaks to the talent and dedication of this entire team that Zombieland: Double Tap is every bit as entertaining as Zombieland was a decade ago.
Double Tap starts ten years after the events of the first film and in that time, Breslin’s Little Rock has grown up. Eisenberg’s Columbus and Stone’s Wichita have settled in a very stale relationship. Harrelson’s Tallahassee has become the father figure to Little Rock.
Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick, and Dave Callaham return to pen the sequel. A challenge for anyone especially given that neither this film or the first Zombieland have a traditional villain. Zombies, more so represent the world as it is, societal and cultural decay more so being the actual villain. And it’s something that I think this team takes to full effect in writing a story about what is home a decade after the zombie apocalypse. With Fleischer’s eye for talent and tempo, what they create in this story is we all are our own worse enemies.
Coming through brilliantly thanks to this cast, Double Tap feels like a genuine and grounded story. And this cast has only gotten better in the past two years. Harrelson, someone genuinely not a fan of sequels, truly shows his love of this cast and Zombieland as Tallahassee. And you can believe he’s the father figure to this crowd, even when Tallahassee himself doesn’t. Jesse Eisenberg and Emma Stone still play off the other in a masterclass of comedic acting. Breslin’s natural honesty that comes through in her roles allows her to be able to be the heart and soul of this group.
I could rant and rave for a long time about the genuine talent that this cast has and newcomer and Zoey Deutch still steals this entire movie from them. Playing recently found survivor, Madison, Deutch creates the ditziest valley girl since Alicia Silverstone. The difference being, you want to see more of Madison. Great acting and directing create a character that isn’t just there for the laughs. Madison’s always happy, REALLY ditzy, but when the zombies hit the fan, she never once backs down. Adding to this growing cast is Rosario Dawson as a potential love interest for Tallahassee and proves more than capable of owning the screen against the full-on scenery eating alpha male Harrelson puts on to play him.
Zombieland: Double Tap is not shy about that Double Tap as any good zombie movie needs some good zombie gore. Unlike The Walking Dead, Fleischer relies heavily on the practical zombies and practical deaths and it helps give the film more of that honest and grounded feeling this story has to it. And favoring story over substance, surprisingly, Fleischer never overuses his zombies and his gore, picking and choosing his moments to use them and push his story.
People seem to forget Columbus’s rules. Specifically, rule 32: Enjoy the little things. Zombieland: Double Tap isn’t The Walking Dead, Grey’s Anatomy, Dawn of the Dead. It doesn’t have any deeper social or political story behind it. Double Tap has never been more than a way to kill a few hours and there’s nothing wrong with that. Fleischer stepped away from the massive sequel for Venom to make the Double Tap the best possible film they could and he succeeded in every way. The film is worth 5 out of 5 stars and is every bit as good, if not better, than the original. And stay for the credits. You’re welcome.