Welcome to Double Take, OUR FREQUENT collaborative writing series from the On The Clock team, in which two or more members of our writing committee review the same film, either with a similar or different opinion. Today’s article is on zOMBIELAND: DOUBLE TAP; which is now playing in cinemas nationwide!
In the world of Zombieland, “Double Tap” means to make sure that a member of the undead is actually gone for good. Looks like Sony and Columbia forgot to double tap, because the cult comedy now has a decade late sequel — Zombieland: Double Tap. However, the incredibly late timing turns out to be its saving grace. Appropriately set a decade after the first film, Double Tap continues the adventures of Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), Wichita (Emma Stone), and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) as they embark on a new journey through the heart of a zombie-infected America, while meeting new survivors along the way (including a scene-stealing Zoey Deutch, who is a laugh riot).
Double Tap continues the story in a satisfying manner, and the jokes are told at enough of a rapid-fire pace, that whenever one falls flat, it’s only a matter of moments before another joke comes right along to make the audience cackle. Unfortunately, several of these gag sequences run on for far too long without contributing to the plot, as it does weigh down the film’s otherwise light-hearted mood. Its reliance on nostalgia from the original does become a drag and leads to a somewhat tame climax, but the film is an inoffensive, tasty bite of R-rated comedy-horror; prepared just in time for the Halloween season!
What makes the Zombieland franchise such an iconic entry into the zombie film canon, is largely due to Ruben Fleischer’s toxic take on stereotypes and cliches of the horror genre. Consistently aggressive with blaring rock music, gritty visuals, and the occasionally politically-incorrect joke, the Zombieland series almost feels like a product of a different time; an era where blood splattering gore and crude sex-humor is warmly accepted by all. Double Tap continues this trend ten years after the events of the original film, where the whole gang (Columbus, Tallahassee, Wichita, and Little Rock) reunite for another serving of kick-ass undead retaliation. This time around however, the most dangerous threat on site isn’t the living dead. It’s relationship drama!
Just like the original film, Double Tap goes extreme with it’s violence, while playing the majority of its narrative quite safe. With not many surprises, the film often times becomes tedious with it’s elongated sequences of crude Zombie combat. Although, if there’s one added element that’s worthwhile for the majority of eager fans of this new niche series, it’s the addition of Zoey Deutch’s character Madison. Deutch’s perfect comedic timing, and shocking accurate valley girl imitation, makes up for some of the film’s weaker retreads. Plus, there’s another surprising cameo mixed in, that will have the majority of audience members dying with laughter. It’s rare for a mid-credit scene to end up becoming the most iconic moment of a specific film; especially if it’s a zomcom of such high profile.
It may be more of the same old humor and gross out violence; yet that’s general appeal of the Zombieland franchise to begin with. Double Tap doesn’t add all that much character development or world building to its expanding universe; but it’s always fun to return to these misfits every once and while, for a solid chuckle and a disgusted blood-drenched squint.