Zombieland: Double Tap Movie Review
Ten years is a long time between movies, especially for comedies. Zombieland: Double Tap, true to form, is a movie that exists, but it’s worth arguing that this bland continuation should have been double tapped at the screenplay stage.
Director Ruben Fleischer and writers Dave Callaham and Paul Wernick return—along with new writer Rhett Reese—but as is often the case with comedy sequels, they struggle to rediscover the magic and energy that made the first Zombieland so enjoyable.
Even though Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, and Abigail Breslin have all returned, they too struggle to elicit laughs—while also struggling to display much care for the lackluster material. The characters, who all clashed and connected in the best of ways back in 2009, all feel old and tired, drained of the vigor they once had, uninterested in really fighting, or fighting for one another.
The only shining exception is newcomer Zoey Deutch, who plays a blonde bimbo with such gusto it’s hard not to appreciate what she brings to the table. Deutch has flown under the radar in a variety of films in recent years, and while her turn here is likely to change overall awareness of her talents, she deserves all the credit in the world.
Sadly, Deutch aside, there isn’t much to sink your stinking, rotting teeth into. The screenplay elicits a few momentary chuckles from time to time, but for the most part Zombieland: Double Tap just churns along without any real sense of momentum or purpose. There are also a few decent zombie death scenes, but for a movie that directly praises the most inventive of zombie deaths, it rarely seems compelled to shoot for the moon, let alone the head.
The climax is fine but nothing remarkable among the sea of zombie movies that now exist; it’s disappointing too how unwilling the film is to kill off even unpleasant secondary characters.
Fleischer seems to go out of his way to make Zombieland: Double Tap as unsatisfying as possible, even if the movie itself maintains some mild entertainment value.
Zombieland: Double Tap has its moments, but much of the movie feels like a zombified version of the first one—a zombie movie, yes, but one operating with little brains, heart, or humor.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.