The zombie killers are back, and so are their rules.
The rules of “Zombieland” are simple: Cardio (the fat guy dies quick), Double Tap (make sure the zombie stays dead), Beware of Bathrooms, Buckle Up, Travel Light, Don’t Be a Hero, Limber Up, When in Doubt Always Know Your Way Out, The Buddy System, Check the Back Seat, and Enjoy the Little Things; along with many other unwritten rules.
We all remember Jesse Eisenberg as Columbus, Woody Harrelson as Tallahassee, Emma Stone as Wichita, and Abigail Breslin as Little Rock battling zombies in the first “Zombieland” from 2009. Now, a decade later, we have the sequel “Double Tap,” which isn’t as clever as the first, but keeps the actors in their iconic roles with the same old gimmicks that made the first movie viciously deadpan.
Columbus proposes to Wichita, who rejects him, and that’s why he sleeps with a stupid vegan (Zoey Deutch); and Tallahassee still treats Little Rock like a kid, and that’s why she runs off with a pacifist hippie named Berkley (Avan Jogia). So, they travel from state to state to find her.
There are new breeds of zombies like the Homer (you know like Homer Simpson), which are too dumb to find their own pray, the Hawking (you know like Stephen Hawking), which can thrive though any situation to get their dinner, and the T800 (you know like in “The Terminator”), which apparently can’t die.
The other new cast members include Rosario Dawson as a survivor who wants to find Bill Murray’s killer (Columbus if you recall) and hits it off with Tallahassee; Luke Wilson and Thomas Middleditch as two hunters, who resemble Tallahassee and Columbus, but apparently, don’t last very long.
The Zoey Deutch vegan I was referring to survived the zombie apocalypse by residing in a Pink Berry freezer. Either that or she’s the stereotypical dumb blonde with no brain. And zombies eat brains. This is her most headache splitting performance since “Vampire Academy,” and I was hoping she would die. It’s her who prevents me from fully enjoying this sequel; and I don’t understand why they had to kill Wilson and Middleditch off, because they were more interesting than her. At least, Dawson is given her pay-off.
“Zombieland: Double Tap” still offers the sense of humor and style of the first movie. Most of the laughs goes to Harrelson, the sympathy is aimed towards Eisenberg, Stone, and Breslin, and the action gets provided by a monster truck with the General Lee’s dixie horn. And there’s also a hilarious end credit sequence with Bill Murray.
It was once again directed by Ruben Fleisher, who also made last year’s financially wealthy but critically repulsive “Venom.” Here, he brings back the actors in their own territories, and does a better job with zombies than Jim Jarmusch did with “The Dead Don’t Die.” These zombie killers are still following their own rules, and we’re having fun with that.