Let’s get one thing out of the way right off the bat: if you liked the first Zombieland movie, you’re going to like this one. Even if you haven’t seen the first one, if you have any kind of sense of humor regarding the undead, you’re probably going to like this movie. Zombieland: Double Tap is a lot of the same irreverent shenanigans as its’ predecessor, just with a few shiny new characters and evolved super-zombies (because why not?), and that’s not at all a bad thing…
While the original played out in the first months of the zombie apocalypse, the sequel rejoins its motley crew of characters some ten years out, as Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), Wichita (Emma Stone), and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) have clearly become accustomed to the new way of the world and to being among the last surviving humans. They’ve set up camp in the White House, of all places, which lends itself naturally to all sorts of impertinent hilarity, and seem to have finally found some measure of happiness. Columbus is hoping to soon call Wichita his wife, while Tallahassee has settled fully into his surrogate father role to Little Rock.
However, this comfortable status quo is shaken up as the sisters take off on their own out of the blue, just as they were prone to do when they all first met. This time, it’s for very different reasons though. Wichita is thrown into a panic when Columbus pops the question and Little Rock, weary of her overbearing father figure, is desperately hoping to find other living humans her own age. What else to do but hit the road again?
As it turns out, there are still other humans around, although how exactly some of them managed to survive to this point is a question for the ages. Little Rock follows her new hippy boyfriend Berkeley (Avan Hogia) to a pacifist commune near Graceland called Babylon, and soon enough the entire group finds their way there in pursuit, having met a number of colorful characters along the way, including the shamelessly clichéd and yet absolutely delightful dumb blonde Madison (Zoey Deutch), the badass Nevada (Rosario Dawson), and a pair of Tallahasse/Columbus doppelgangers called Albuquerque and Flagstaff, perfectly cast and played by Luke Wilson and Thomas Middleditch.
The overarching theme of Double Tap, such as it is: where can you find some semblance of home in the zombie apocalypse? Not unlike some other long-running zombie franchises like The Walking Dead (which they can’t resist acknowledging and making fun of for just a moment), of course the answer is not necessarily a place, but nevertheless we enjoy following the characters as they figure out what homes truly means to them, and watching them take out zombies in increasingly absurd and epic ways as they go.
If you are lucky enough to see the movie in 4DX, you’ll be in for an even bigger treat, as the veering and jolting seats and occasional sprays of water are perfectly suited for battling and splattering zombies. As if to drive home what a good choice 4DX would be for Double Tap, in true-to-form meta fashion, Columbus even comes right out and tells us about how much better a candle shop will smell if you are watching in a 4DX theatre.
Zombieland: Double Tap may not be high art and it may not always be politically correct, but hey, it’s the zombie apocalypse. This is one movie where you can leave your brain at the door (no pun intended) and simply have a good time. If we wanted to be picky, there may not be a Bill Murray moment in this sequel, but let’s be honest… how could they have ever topped that? 3.5/5 T-800s.