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Film review: Zombieland – Double Tap

Film & TV

Columbus, Tallahassee, Wichita and Little Rock – the gang is back and they’re still killing the undead, only now there’s a new breed of evolved zombies to tackle.

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The group has become quite the family since we last saw them in the original cult classic Zombieland and I, for one, would rather they hadn’t picked up strays along the way.

Newbie Madison (Zoey Deutch) is your characteristic pretty airhead whose only purpose is to be a total joke, although she isn’t very funny. She’s sort of the Jar Jar Binks of the film, in that she ruins the onscreen mojo of the previously perfectly tight-knit group. The same is true of Berkeley the hippie, whose only redeeming quality is that he makes Tallahassee have a few tantrums.

As a sequel, Double Tap doesn’t really take off on its own, depending too much on the reputation of the original (ie “a hilarious zombie movie rising above the others because Jesse Eisenberg and Woody Harrelson are perfectly cast”).

This seems to be such an obvious trope that the film is more about making fun of itself than it is about character development or expansion of plot. One scene, however, is better for it, and that’s when Columbus meets his doppelganger in Thomas Middleditch’s Flagstaff and the two compare their “rules” and their “commandments”, politely congratulating each other along the way.

Despite Emma Stone’s rather acerbic portrayal of Wichita and Abigail Breslin as Little Rock being completely fed-up with her unchanged status as the baby of the group (she was 11 when the original came out, making her 21 now), Double Tap suffers from happy-Hollywood-ending-syndrome. This isn’t any kind of spoiler in a major motion comedy – it’s expected, and maybe that’s where this reviewer feels slightly jilted: there aren’t any surprises.

If you’re a fan of the original Zombieland you’ll probably enjoy this one well enough because it’s stylised and sometimes laugh-out-loud funny, but it doesn’t have that wow factor of the original because, well, it’s already been done.

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