Zombieland 2: Double Tap
The sequel to the 2009 horror-comedy Zombieland, we continue with the story of Tallahassee, Columbus, Wichita, and Little Rock. They are continuing to survive in the post-apocalyptic world. As they face new dangers and people in this world, they still try to put up with each other and try to keep their makeshift family together and survive.
I had one complaint before I even saw this film, is that it took ten years to make and release this film. For me, if you have a sequel or a film series, I feel that three years is enough time to make a movie and get everything right with the story and making of the film. For a sequel to take ten years isn’t proper to make your fanbase wait for a follow up to something that they liked. Of course, I am aware that the film was in development hell for a while. I am also mindful of the commitments that the other actors and creators of the movie had and needed to complete first. If a film needs to take longer, I am ok with that. You may risk losing interesting in that story if too much time goes by.
Despite that, the film was enjoyable, and I liked it. The cast and the story didn’t miss a beat. The action and violence were over the top in a less gory but goofy way. The story was what I would have expected from this film series. The cast still has the chemistry and likeability from the first movie. Most of the new characters were not too important and were hit or miss in terms of what I thought that they contributed to the story. There still are a few questions that I had with the movie as well as plot holes that don’t leave much wrapped up, but hopeful that we may get a third Zombieland film.
The following article contains spoilers from this point on.
The story picks up in front of the White House as the group tries to kill off a bunch of Zombies in front and proceed to move in. This movie likes to break the fourth wall and have Columbus at points of the film narrate what is going on. He does acknowledge that it has been a while since we last saw them. He gives a dodgy answer to where they have been for the past few years, and I liked it, and I didn’t like this. It dodged what has been happening to the survivors for the past ten years. But in a way that made sense in this world as he acknowledged it’d been years since we last saw them.
Everyone from the original cast returns, Tallahassee, Columbia, Wichita, and Little Rock is back and don’t miss a beat. All of them do a great job with their roles and are believable and likable. I also like that the movie and cast can shift from one extreme to another and ease tension in a disastrous world. One moment something serious is happening like a zombie attack as the Survivors fight for their lives, the next, they’re riding Segways in an abandoned mall with the potential of zombies attacking the survivors. There is a relaxing tone that I feel I haven’t seen in many apocalyptic movies. Most movies that have a survival, apocalypse vibe, and are dangerous. This movie acknowledges this danger but has fun while doing this.
We get some new characters in Zombieland 2. Madison, a girl that was living in a mall freezer for ten years, joins the survivors, was a nice addition to the movie and cast. She was hit or miss at times with her character, but I thought she added a dynamic and was believable, although at times exaggerated, of an airhead. Besides getting on the survivor’s nerves, she was a forced wedge in Columbia and Wichita’s relationship. Berkley, the potential love interest of Little Rock, and pacifist. He and Little Rock ran away to a town called Babylon. Babylon was a peaceful community and didn’t believe in having any guns. It’s was funny but strange to see this “hippie commune” exist as zombies wouldn’t be the only danger you would think that survivor’s of this world would face. Nevada, another survivor that was living at an Elvis themed motel. Besides being a love interest, she didn’t have a much to add, but a couple of fun moments and a love interest for Tallahassee. There was also Albuquerque and Flagstaff, the eerily doppelgangers of Tallahassee and Columbia. They provided a few laughs, especially the passive-aggressive comparison of Flag Staff’s “commandments” to Columbia’s “rules” Sadly, Albuquerque and Flag Staff got bit while trying to stop super zombies outside of the hotel and turned. It made for a great action sequence of the survivors fighting the zombified Tallahassee and Flag Staff. I was also hoping that there could have been a chance that this might have been a foreshadowing. This plot point was something that would have happened to any of the survivors in this film.
The film introduces four new zombies. They were interesting, but some of these were hardly featured in the movie and made me question their role. There was “The Homer,” the dumb zombie named after the character of Homer Simpson. “The Hawking,” a smart zombie and named after physicists Steven Hawking. A zombie named Ninja, a silent but stealthy deadly zombie. Halfway through the movie, a super zombie named the “T-800” gets introduced, after named after the famous robot from The Terminator movies, and is the hardest to kill.
Besides a significant shot shootout in the middle of the movie, where the survivors were trying to get an RV while going after Little Rock, I think I saw the Ninja try to bite Madison’s foot and a Hawking Zombie attack Columbia on top of an RV. That is all I can tell that we got of any different zombie variants being in this movie with the Hawking and Ninja type. The film seems to focus on the T-800 zombies instead. Why have other types of zombie’s shown if you are going to show Homer’s and T-800’s? There wasn’t a need for these other zombies to be in this movie.
I wish there were more world-building in this movie. My favorite thing about this movie series is the “Zombie Kill of the (Time frame).” It could be the week, year, even century. They are over the top and fun, like the way they show another Zombie getting captured and chopped up and into a survivor’s Tractor’s hay bailer. While amusing, I have one question that’s not yet answered, how does Columbia know this. There isn’t any answer to how Survivors seem to contact each other to know acts like this from other survivors. This world needs this an explanation or answer to how survivors find this news from other survivors. There is even reference to how Columbia killed Bill Murray from the first movie with the term “Bill Murrayed,” you mentioned by Nevada. I would like to see perhaps some attempt like a spinoff movie or TV show to build upon this world and other survivors.
The action sequences are great. It was well-paced well and did provide enough action and suspense throughout the scene. There seemed to be a kind of pop art or two moments that added to the fourth wall effect of the film and added a comic book styling to the film. It also provided additional tension to scenes that were already tense. The best instance that I can think of is when the T-800’s first reveal as Tallahassee was trying to apply Rule 2 “The Double Tap” to this zombie. You see, the rule and counter go up as he was taking shot after shot. From triple to quadruple, to quintuple, up to the rule changing to “whatever Nine-tuple is tap.” This movie did some instances of Slow Motion to fast motion better than any Zac Synder films that I watched.
The story of Little Rock running away with Berkely and the survivors going to retrieve her from a community with no guns was an excellent enough story. It provided conflict and reason for them to get her back. I did have a problem with Columbus and Wichita’s relationship side story. For ten years, they have been together but never married. Nothings explored or mentioned about their relationship. Columbus proposed to Wichita at the beginning of the film. I couldn’t get why they didn’t do this or even show maybe past attempts of Columbus trying to propose to her. Her and Little Rock left, which set up Columbus to meet Madison and sleep with her. It felt like a way to get some conflict that did have some decent strife between the two. Them not getting along on this journey because she doesn’t want to marry him is fine for me.
The movie seems to end, as the first film does. It feels as if either the filmmakers and writers don’t have an end to the film. They are just continuing with the story and series as far as they can go. While a kind of feel that this and Zombieland seem to end, we do get closure to stories, like Columbia and Wichita reconciling their relationship and get engaged. And if they are following the rules and using them as subtitles, the next caption makes it Zombieland 3: Don’t trust Bathrooms. I would like to see how that would work out in terms of the story.
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