In an unprecedented explosion of undead-related content in the early years of the millennium, Zombieland. It managed to make great strides with its well-observed spin on the clichés and conventions, doing to the genre what Scream did with slashers. In 2019, with the boon of Zombie-based media not as prevalent as it once was, the film’s cast decided to return to carry on the stories of Columbus, Tallahassee, Wichita, and Little Rock, in Zombieland: Double Tap.
After settling down in the White House, two years later, Columbus feels comfortable enough to propose. Wichita makes the dramatic decision to bolt in the night, leaving Tallahassee and Columbus on their own. Meanwhile, Columbus meets Madison, an absent-minded blonde who spent her time hiding out in a mall fridge, she quickly takes to Columbus. When Wichita returns, she explains that Little Rock, yearning for company her age, is at a mysterious compound called Babylon, with only a pacifist boyfriend for protection. Sending the group on a road trip to the mysterious Babylon, to find Little Rock. Two years is a long time, will the rules still hold up?
Despite it being only two years in the film’s dystopic timeline, it is impressive that after a decade, not only the original cast is willing to return, but manage to act as if hardly any time has passed at all. Woody Harrelson has gained immense popularity since his time in True Detective, and Jesse Eisenberg has since shown You don’t get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies. They all slip effortlessly back into Columbus, Tallahassee, Wichita, and Little Rock respectively. Since the decade that we last saw Zombieland, there have been some changes in the undead hierarchy. The undead has evolved somewhat, with more diagnosed flavours: Some are Ninjas, some have grown a tad smarter, but the scary addition comes from the “T-800” zombies that have evolved primarily for the hunt.
Aside from expanding the types of Zombies, Zombieland also expands the cast, and world of the films immensely. We learn some more of the fabled rules, that helped Columbus et al. Survive their travels to Babylon, the gang meets an ersatz version of themselves, with Columbus’s doppelgänger having his list of rules Commandments. It is a jolly coincidence, but also a perfect chance to bring the likes of Rosario Dawson and Luke Wilson into the film, even a return of Bill Murray in his infamous cameo. We also get Zoey Deutch as Madison, a very peppy and dreamy who had the fortune of serving the apocalypse, by hiding in a freezer. Adding a breath of fresh air to the pre-established dynamic.
You worry after so long, if the magic will the same, maybe the bright spark was just a flash in the pan. The first Zombieland was a pleasant surprise, yet Double Tap hedges the odds by remixing old ideas, expanding new ones and keeping just enough of the original to keep the soul as fresh as it was 10 years ago. Perhaps in 2029, if the cast is still up for it, we’ll see another return of the city-named survivors. However, Double Tap is a confirmed kill for the winning franchise, one that isn’t in danger of running out of ammo anytime soon.
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