The experience of watching Zombieland: Double Tap is a lot like being stuffed inside a time machine and being sent back to a very specific point in our recent history, both cinematically and culturally. A decade ago, when the first film was released, zombies were the flavor of the week; R-rated comedies were still a financially feasible option for movie studios and audiences were less touchy about certain things. For instance, I wonder how Double Tap’s iffy right-wing streak will go down with modern viewers. At one point, in fact, a character even yells out, “Thank God for the rednecks!”
The world has transformed since 2009. Back then, Emma Stone had bangs (and zero Academy Awards); Jesse Eisenberg was neither a DC villain nor an Oscar nominee; and Ruben Fleischer hadn’t directed a single feature film, let alone an $850 million superhero smash.
Part of the reason why it took so long to get Double Tap made, despite the first movie having developed a loyal cult following, was because everyone’s stars have risen considerably over the years. This suggests, slightly heart-warningly, that this film exists only because of they all very passionate to make it, and not because there a lot of money to made.
Woody Harrelson and Jesse Eisenberg gave a strong performance in Zombieland 2
Zombieland 2, like the original, blessed with a run-time so short, that it barely allows for careful consideration of its flaws. At 90 minutes long, the film feels at once breathless, yet oddly overstuffed. Because there’s so little breathing room — or, really, any patience for silences — they hurl the jokes at you even before a single scene has they have shown a single scene. Without giving anything away, you might want to arrive on time for your screening, and experience for yourself the hidden talents of the Columbia Pictures torch lady.
A lot of the humor in the original film came from Jesse Eisenberg and Woody Harrelson’s odd-couple energy. There’s something funny about a hotheaded redneck and a neurotic Woody Allen type forced to lean on each other to survive a zombie apocalypse.
Zombieland 2 adds a new dynamic to their relationship. It introduces a host of colorful new characters led by the scene-stealing Zoey Deutch.
Fleischer also retains the flashy visual gags that made the original such a refreshing entry in the crowded subgenre. No one, not even the Central Board of Film Certification.
It seems, could resist being swept away by the sight of one of Columbus’ zombie survival rules pasted in big, bold letters. A fight for screen space unfolds every time someone smokes a doobie. However, and the CBFC feels compelled to warn you about it with title font as large. Distracting as one of those rules. It’s a double learning experience.
But despite its entertainment (and educational) value, Zombieland: Double Tap is strictly for fans. It helps, however, that its cult of followers, like the undead, is only increasing.