VOD film review: Zombieland: Double Tap
Written by Arthur
5/10 Total Rating 6.5/10
This harmless but needless sequel is an entertaining but forgettable follow-up to the hit horror-comedy.
Reading time: 2 mins
Director: Ruben Fleischer Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, Abigail Breslin, Zoey Deutch Certificate: 15 Watch Zombieland 2 online in the UK: iTunes / Prime Video (Buy/Rent) / TalkTalk TV / Virgin Movies / eir Vision Movies / Rakuten TV / Google Play / Sky Store
“Back for seconds? After all this time?” That’s the sound of Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) welcoming us back to Zombieland for a sequel that’s been 10 years coming. If there’s a correlation between the quality of a sequel and how long it takes to get made, Zombieland 2 is bang in the middle of the curve, a follow-up that’s both harmless and needless in equal measure.
The first film was a surprisingly fun horror comedy, one that brought together Eisenberg’s awkward outsider with Woody Harrelson’s violent extrovert Tallahassee to survive in the undead apocalypse – alongside Emma Stone’s Wichita and Abigail Breslin’s Little Rock. The balance of their chemistry, splattered blood and a cameo from Bill Murray was an unexpected recipe for enjoyment. But that novelty has largely worn off now, which means Zombieland’s second visit is something of an uphill climb.
And so we get a plot that’s mostly stitched together from stunts and set pieces, such a visit to the White House, a pilgrimage to Graceland and a stay in a pacifist commune that soon learns not having weapons is a surefire way to make yourself vulnerable when corpses are shuffling around. An appearance by Luke Wilson and Thomas Middleditch as the unwitting dopplegangers of our lead duo bring some gags, but mostly highlight the lack of material for Stone and Breslin to work with.
Thank goodness, then, for Zoey Deutch. After carving out a following in Netflix movies Set It Up and Before I Fall, as well as a turn in Ryan Murphy’s The Politician, she steals the whole show from the returning ensemble as Madison, an air-headed love interest for Columbus. Pitching every line of dialogue with a carefree idiocy, she turns a one-note joke into a laugh-out-loud sidekick, staying committed to her dimwit deadpan with a delightful charm.
Ruben Fleischer still has an eye for messy hijinks and Deadpool writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick drop every pop culture reference going. They ensure the pace stays high enough to keep you entertained througohut, but there are no surprises, shocks or scares to be found – a sign that this franchise is running out of steam. Back for seconds? Sure. Back for thirds? Not likely.