Zombieland: Double Tap (***1/2) is more of what you know

Zombieland Double Tap – 2019

Director Ruben Fleischer
Screenplay Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick, Dave Callaham
Starring Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Abigail Breslin, Emma Stone, Rosario Dawson, Zoey Deutch, Luke Wilson

It’s been 10 years or so in Zombieland. All of the characters are older. While they all know how to clear land for a living settlement, like, say, The White House, they haven’t really learned how to communicate with one another. Tallahassee, Columbus, Wichita and Little Rock (Harrelson, Eisenberg, Stone and Breslin) part ways soon after the opening credits. Why did it take them 10 years? Well, they weren’t making a movie during that time.

This time, along with the rules gimmick, we have new zombies. They are compared to Homer, Stephen Hawking (and his sister) and the T-800. This is intended to add a dimension of risk, even if they don’t completely flesh it out.

The first film was a decent surprise hit, giving us the first real glimpse of comedy in an apocalyptic setting. Zombieland had a story to go along with the actors and it is a lot of fun. This is more of that fun.

Whereas in the first film there is at least a hint of danger, this time it’s pretty obvious that none of the core cast is at risk. There are some new characters that stick around only until the joke starts to smell of zombie flesh. There are some pleasant surprises. Mostly, though, we’re here just to see these people use the same lines we are used to…and maybe one new one.

You will not be blown away by this film. You’ll never feel like something permanent is going to occur to split up the group. On the other hand, you won’t really get too tired of the core either.

The best thing about the film is Harrelson finding someone interesting to be his counterpart. As much as I want to think Dawson is a lightweight, she never disappoints in this or any other film. Breslin looks like she has hung out in Babylon even before the movie started. Eisenberg’s hair looks suspiciously like a wig. Stone’s storyline is beneath her ability as a comic actor. Nothing new here other than crisis manufactured for the story.

If you like the first, see this one. You’ll have a good time. You will even believe that Tallahassee has real Native American heritage. At least more than Warren.

(***1/2 out of *****)

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