Zombieland Double Tap Review: Fun, Charm, Heart

zombieland double tap

This is an honest review for Zombieland: Double Tap, the belated sequel to 2009’s surprise breakout hit, Zombieland, starring Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin. Zombieland 2 delivered an enjoyable time at the movies. This review will contain spoilers.

Often, when talking about cinema, we sort of subconsciously divide our tastes into colloquial categorizations like film, cinema, and movies. When we think of film, we often think about Sundance and film festivals; when it comes to cinema we think of erudite directors waxing poetic about the art and impact of filmmaking; and when we think of movies, we think of popcorn, pre-gaming with margarita deals at Chili’s, and those red recliner chairs at the theater.

Given those terms, Zombieland: Double Tap is a movie, and it totally delivers as a movie. The pacing is excellent, the ensemble cast is enjoyable to watch on screen, the visuals don’t disappoint, and the story grabs and engages us enough to deliver the delightful escapism that we paid for. It’s trying to give us a good time, to entertain us, and not much more and, in that respect, it accomplishes its goal.

Like the original Zombieland, Zombieland 2 features an ensemble cast. Harrelson and Eisenberg play, as they often do in movies, basically themselves: a rough around the edges lone wolf with a heart of gold, and a neurotic smart kid, respectively. Emma Stone also basically plays into her typecast as a serious, smart, sarcastic, independent person. Although they’re not taking very many acting risks, it’s the fact that they deliver the on-screen personas they’ve honed with ease and comfort combined with the chemistry of the ensemble that makes the movie work.

Abigail Breslin’s character, Little Rock is, unfortunately, a bit of a weak link when it comes to the ensemble. Perhaps because she’s absent for the majority of the movie and doesn’t have the screen time to develop the on-screen presence of the other characters. Or, perhaps they intentionally wrote her out of the majority of the movie because she didn’t have the on-screen presence of the other characters.

I suspect the latter is the case, because Abigail’s career kicked off with a memorable child-actor performance in 2006’s Little Miss Sunshine which segued into her inclusion in 2009’s Zombieland — in the interim 10 years between Zombieland 1 and 2 she didn’t do much of note, suggesting she was somewhat grandfathered into the cast of this movie. Casting aside, the character of Little Rock isn’t particularly well-defined in the same way as the others, has little to do and is more of a damsel mcguffin than a character, so any actress would have struggled to make the part more than what it was.

Newcomer to the franchise Zoey Deutch, however, not only delivers a fun and charismatic performance that stands up alongside her castmates but also fits incredibly well into the chemistry of the ensemble. The love triangle set up between her and Eisenberg’s Columbus offers Emma Stone a chance to really shine with her passive-aggressive reactionary sarcasm. Deutch’s madison, the quintessential blonde airhead stereotype, is also just funny. Deutch leans into this caricature perfectly and captures the essence of what is funny about it; her character, in her innocence and stupidity, delivers a form of humor that doesn’t rely on the edge, wit, or irony of the other characters — it’s just funny, and there’s a purity to it.

zombieland 2 double tap
Jesse Eisenberg’s two love interests in Zombieland Double Tap
Not pictured: Jesse Eisenberg’s unbelievable luck

The plot itself basically revolves around the makeshift family trying to find the runaway Little Rock, who’s absconded with a long-haired vagrant to a pacifist hippie commune while simultaneously revealing that the zombies are evolving to become faster, smarter and more resilient and, thus, more of a threat overall. It works overall, though the movie’s structure is a bit strange in that it almost feels like a four part TV miniseries. Part 1: The White House; Part 2: On the Road with Madison; Part 3: Graceland, Part 4: The exciting conclusion.

The structure works, but it doesn’t feel quite like a traditional film structure. It feels like a condensed half season of The Walking Dead. Except better than The Walking Dead, which devolved into its own melodramatic self-parody. But that’s another article.

Overall, my review of Zombieland 2: Double Tap is that it’s a very enjoyable, watchable movie and if you’re looking to be entertained, it’s probably going to succeed and providing a few hours of solid content. It even features some pretty great fan service moments and cameos.

Zombieland Double Tap Quick FAQ

What is Zombieland Double Tap?

Zombieland Double Tap is the sequel to the 2009 movie Zombieland, starring Woody Harrelson, Jessie Eisenberg, Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin.

Who stars in the cast of Zombieland Double Tap?

Zombieland Double Tap stars Woody Harrelson, Jessie Eisenberg, Emma Stone, Abigail Breslin and Zoey Deutch.

Who is the supporting cast of Zombieland Double Tap?

In addition to its main cast lineup, Zombieland Double Tap features performances by Rosario Dawson, Luke Wilson and Thomas Middleditch

When was Zombieland Double Tap released?

Zombieland Double Tap came out in the US in October of 2019

That about covers it for my review of Zombieland Double Tap. Be sure to check out the Movies & TV Section for more content like this, and make sure to follow me on Twitter to get notified when more reviews are available.

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