Star Rating:

Zombieland: Double Tap

Director: Ruben Fleischer

Actors: Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, Bill Murray, Abigail Breslin

Release Date: Friday 18th October 2019

Genre(s): Action, Comedy, Horror

Running time: 93 minutes

Was 'Zombieland' that good in the first place and did it really necessitate a sequel ten years on?

Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg),  Tallahasse (Woody Harrelson), Wichita (Emma Stone), and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) move to the American heartland as they face off against evolved zombies, fellow survivors, and the growing pains of the snarky makeshift family.

Compared to something like, say, 'Zoolander' or 'Anchorman', it's fair to say that 'Zombieland' didn't have the same kind of cultural impact. In fact, it's fair to say that it didn't all that much of an impact. For one, you had Edgar Wright's far superior 'Shaun of the Dead' firmly gripped on the mantle of zombie comedy. But, beyond that, 'Zombieland' was more known for the fact it had a cameo with Bill Murray, and the cast eventually went on to more serious, weightier things. Emma Stone won an Oscar, Jesse Eisenberg went on to play Mark Zuckerberg, Woody Harrelson did 'True Detective' and Abigail Breslin went on to star opposite Meryl Streep in 'August Osage County'.

With all this in mind, 'Zombieland: Double Tap' arrives in cinemas with a certain amount of incredulity. Who actually wanted this, when you come right down to it? Was 'Zombieland' that good in the first place and did it really necessitate a sequel ten years on? If this is anything to go by, it absolutely didn't. In fact, 'Zombieland: Double Tap' suffers from the same problems that's plagued countless comedy sequels over the years - namely, how do you make something funny by treading over the same ground? Can you make the same joke twice and it still be funny? The short answer is no, not really.

Essentially, 'Zombieland: Double Tap' recycles the same kind of humour from the first one, planting the characters in reasonably familiar environments and set-ups with nothing really new or exciting to say about them. For example, a new character is called Berkeley and doesn't believe in weapons and lives inside a commune based on a David Gray song. Really. Woody Harrelson's character, Tallahassee, decides to visit Graceland and spends parts of the movie in Elvis' jumpsuit. Jesse Eisenberg murmurs his way through his lines, and Emma Stone just about gives enough of a performance in order to cash a cheque. The only performer who actually seems to be trying here is Zoey Deutch, who plays Madison, a vapid caricature of millennial selfie culture but gets some of the biggest laughs of the entire movie.

For all of this, however, 'Zombieland: Double Tap' does have its moments. The action is well-balanced, with director Ruben Fleischer adding more flair and confidence to the action sequences. Likewise, the finale does have a much wider scale than the original. Rhett Rheese and Paul Wernick's script doesn't exactly add anything original to the zombie comedy genre, nor does it try and play with the cast or setting created in the first one. Ultimately, 'Zombieland: Double Tap' plays out like fan fiction, but who are the fans here? Is it just everyone who was involved in the first one?