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(film review) - Zombieland: Double Tap

Around 12 years ago, they mentioned making a film called Zombieland (I even reviewed it - gosh I feel old) and I wasn't sure what to make of it.  10 years ago, they released the trailer and the movie seemed goofy and fun, but I wasn't sure what to make of it.  Saw the movie in December 2009 and as my review stated, I really enjoyed it.  I had been awaiting a sequel to this movie ever since and it had been on hold because director Ruben Fleischer had been busy making films like 30 Minutes or Less, Gangster Squad and the more recent, Venom.  They did try to launch a TV series back in 2013 with Amazon Studios, but the show didn't even get past the terrible pilot as it was that bad.  I watched it and for the most part, it seems they got most of the core elements of the show, but it was just bad, really.  The characters had no chemistry and it just seemed very much like a budget Zombieland.  This sequel on the other hand, something we have waited 10 years for, not only does Ruben address the elephant in the room with it being 10 years, he also doesn't even bother to try and fix the concept of Zombieland, only expand/evolve it and that is BRILLIANT!!!  I mean, if it isn't broke, why fix it?

The film literally picks up 10 years later in real-time and since the events of the first movie, the zombies have evolved.  Whereas in the first movie it doesn't seem there is much civilians left that had survived the apocalypse, the now dysfunctional family have taken residence in The White House.  However, when Little Rock (Abigail) meets a guy named Berkeley (Avan Jogia) and goes missing, Wichita (Emma Stone), Colombus (Jesse Eisenberg) and Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) go off looking for Little Rock at Graceland, Elvis' home.  On their travels they have a new tag-a-long named Madison (Zoey Deutch) who has been living in a freezer the entire time and once they make it to Gracelands, chaos ensues, of course.

It took me a moment to get into this movie this time around and I'm not sure what it is, but I wasn't fully tuned in at the beginning.  I thought it might be because it has been a long time since we have seen these characters but I actually re-watched Zombieland last week so this feeling I was having confused me.  Maybe I was tied (which I was).  Maybe I was thinking it was 10 years too late and I wasn't invested any more or maybe it wasn't as witty and funny as the last one, but it was, it was witty and funny.  I really started getting into the movie once they met Madison and once we got to Graceland.

The rules are still there and we get to learn a bunch of new ones.  And just like what I said for the first movie, you might need to watch it again for the rules alone, but this film is just like the first one. The family are exactly the same.  Crazy Zombie kills, chaotic, clever and funny dialogue and with the evolved zombies, the humour definitely still fits in the world we had established 10 years ago.  One of my favourite scenes was at Graceland where they meet a 'Doppelganger' family and how that part of the story pans out.

Ruben Fleischer does an excellent job directing with keeping the same tone as the original and bringing back the now very well established cast.  Emma Stone, Golden and Academy Award winner, since the first movie.  Jesse Eisenberg, Golden and Academy Award nominee since the first movie.  Woody Harrelson, Primetime Emmy Award winner, 3 x Academy Award nominee and Sag Award ensemble winner to various movies, it's just great to see that these actors decided that this role wasn't too little for them and a brilliant job done getting back into the roles because Woody, Jesse, Emma and Abigail are excellent.  The film literally feels like 10 years later, we are still with these guys and they are still killing zombies and it's great.

My only critique of the movie is that, I would have liked to see the rules clearer as they do pop up obscurely throughout the movie and the lack of one of the zombies they named during the first act.  Other than that, if you enjoyed the first movie, this film continues with no bumps and no displacement since the 10 years.  I'm also glad the didn't try to do anything too outrageous that would have taken you away from the world of Zombieland and out of the film, although that Leaning Tower of Pisa part was teetering on the edge.  Just like the first one though, I would definitely watch this one again.


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