It’s hard to believe that the sequel to Zombieland, Zombieland: Double Tap has taken 10 years to come out. It’s also hard to believe that Love Horror has been going even longer than that but this is proven by the fact that we reviewed the original Zom-Com all the way back in 2009.
Unsurprisingly we loved it, pointing out that far from just being an undead Hollywood knee jerk reaction to the popularity of Shaun of the Dead it was “So much more than the sum of its bloody and beautiful parts, defying categorisation and making it one of the best movies of the year.”
Although part one was hugely successful and rumours abounded about a sequel as soon as the film was released, writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick and director Ruben Fleischer didn’t confirm anything until 2017 with the film, also penned by Expendables scribe Dave Callaham, timing its release perfectly for the tenth anniversary of Zombieland.
Fittingly Double Tap takes place 10 years on with the world still overrun by flesh eating fiends and the rag tag crew of Tallahassee, Columbus, Wichita and Little Rock, played by Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin respectively, all somehow living their best lives in the apocalyptic wasteland.
Having moved into the White House the end of the world is going great, they have food, fun and they finally seem to have formed a family. Unfortunately Little Rock is restless and sick of being babied especially from the paternal yet patronising Tallahassee and one morning the men awake to find both sisters have fled leaving them dejected and depressed especially Columbus who believed him and Wichita would get married.
Running into ultra-positive airhead Maddison (Zoey Deutch from The Politician) who has been living in a Mall freezer for several years Columbus convinces his grumpy chum to take her to their crib and the unlikely pair end up getting freaky leaving the law living looser ill prepared for Wichita’s unexpected return the next morning.
Shocked when she sees Columbus has seemingly moved on and straight into bed with a new girl she also reveals Little Rock ran away from her with a pacifist hippy named Berkeley (Shaft’s Avan Jogia). Determined to save his surrogate daughter whether she likes it or not Tallahassee insists they hit the road immediately. Maddison insists she comes along too creating terrific tension between Columbus and Wichita but hilarity for the cowboy hat wearing zombie killer.
Armed to the teeth the team head out meeting unlikely allies such as Elvis loving ass kicker Nevada (Rosario Dawson from The Defenders) and the jaw dropping doppelganger duo of slayers Albuquerque and Flagstaff (played by Old School’s Luke Wilson and The Final Girls Thomas Middleditch) as well as facing new threats including a highly evolved zombie that is faster and more deadly than anything they have ever encountered.
Wonderfully well filmed as soon as it starts Double Tap takes you straight back into the wickedly warped world of Zombieland with all the trademarks that made the first film so fresh including the stylised slaying, giant on screen text detailing the laws to live by laid down by Columbus and some crazy cutaway’s including Tallahassee’s quest for the ZKOTY or Zombie Kill of the Year. The asides here show us the competition he is up against around the world including one Italian’s innovative use of an architectural landmark in mushing some murderous monsters.
The cast are all excellent especially the returning actors who step right into their roles with ease evolving all of them just enough to make the story more interesting. The dynamic between the foursome is fantastic and there is a real sense of family with all the love, loathing, bickering and back stabbing that always comes with relations genetic or otherwise.
The new additions to the gang are also brilliant with Zoey Deutch nearly stealing every scene she is in as Maddison through the sensational stupidity of her character and the insane and inane things she comes up with. Lastly for hard core Zombieland fans there is an additional appearance from a particular comedy acting legend that popped up in the first film who makes the end credits unmissable as well as showing you the unexpected origins of the zombie outbreak.
Hilarious, heartfelt and full of great gory action Double Tap is the sequel Zombieland deserved delivering a comedy horror just as funny, full on and fucked up as the first that is well worth the 10 year wait.