Director: Ruben Fleischer | 99 minutes | action, comedy | Actors: Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, Abigail Breslin, Zoey Deutch, Avan Jogia, Rosario Dawson, Luke Wilson, Thomas Middleditch, Victoria Hall, Victor Rivera, Ian Gregg, Devin Mojica, Rachel Luttrell, John Dixon, Ronny Mathew, Jess Durham
Ten years after the pleasant and at times very entertaining ‘Zombieland’ we are reunited with the zombie-fighting foursome Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) that the original won from a lot of viewers. The opening scenes of ‘Zombieland: Double Tap’ quickly make it clear what to expect: a lot of action, aggressive undead and the necessary gore, topped with a humorous sauce that mainly excels in simplicity and wit.
Even more than its predecessor, ‘Zombieland: Double Tap’ is a parody of the zombie genre, probably one of the most milked film concepts on the planet. It is not without reason that Columbus opens with the following words: “You have many options in the field of zombie entertainment. Thank you for choosing us. ” This opening text, not devoid of satire, already indicates that the film does not take itself and the entire zombie genre very seriously.
Characterologically there is little new under the sun. Columbus is still the intelligent, but somewhat silly and socially inept nerd, while Woody Harrelson remains perfectly in place as the tough, but insidious (rough-shelled, white-spit) cowboy Tallahassee. Wichita is now Columbus’ steady girlfriend, but still the tough chick from part 1 who knows the art of cutting the zombie hordes roaming through the US in various ways. Only her younger sister Little Rock no longer fits in the familiar picture. She has a great urge to leave the nest that has become her dysfunctional ‘family’. Ready to spread her wings, Little Rock ventures out into the wide world on her own, eventually ending up in a hippie commune. In addition, we are introduced to a new zombie species. The ones baptized by Columbus as ‘terminators’ are faster and stronger than their ‘normal’ counterparts and therefore a lot more difficult to take out. For example, they can take an impressive number of bullets before they finally die.
‘Zombieland: Double Tap’ therefore largely taps from the same vein as the first release in this franchise, albeit that this second part is just a bit more action-packed, excessive and self-aware. Like ‘Zombieland’, ‘Zombieland: Double Tap’ mainly lives off the interactions and chemistry between the four main protagonists. Strong gore gags, references to other films / popular culture phenomena and spicy one-liners regularly put a smile on your face, especially since you can see that the actors clearly enjoy their roles. The makers also inject the film with a strong dose of social satire. In particular, the archetypal rednecks and naive hippies tearing around in monster trucks are hard-hated. Also the stupid girl-girl Madison,
Lovers of the first part will undoubtedly enjoy viewing ‘Zombieland: Double Tap’. The characters remain interesting and lovable, while the action sequences are entertaining, intense and exuberant. The humor consists of a well-thought-out mix of subtlety and flatness. On the other hand, the film relies heavily on fanservice and in terms of story and new input, which has little meat on the bones. A more than acceptable follow-up film, although the question is whether there is still enough in the creative barrel for a strong third.
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