‘Zombieland: Double Tap’ Film Review: A Redundantly Amusing Adventure

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Most sequels often feel out of place, almost like they don’t belong. While “Zombieland: Double Tap” is a fun time at the cinema, it sadly falls under that category of missing the mark. Especially since this sequel came out 10 years after 2009’s “Zombieland.”

Overview

The gang is back together! Four survivors Woody Harrelson, Jesse EisenbergEmma Stone and Abigail Breslin who met and joined forces in their previous outing in “Zombieland” leave their safe new home of the White House to travel to Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee. Now, these zombie slayers must rely on their abilities and weapons to defeat a threat like none they’ve faced before.

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While the film was released in 2019, it was supposed to start filming shortly after the release of the first movie in 2009. A theme of the movie is leaving the nest. Rhett Reese, one of the Zombieland writers said, new additions to the writing team “did a wonderful job updating the story, bringing it to a more of an empty nest story about a young woman who used to be a girl, and used to love to look up to her father figure, but now really wants to get out in the world.”

Made their path

The first 30 minutes of the movie benefits from not having a specific path to follow. With the lack of a focal point, the writers can focus on jokes and tossing in new characters randomly. Don’t be confused while the film is very much a comedy, there’s plenty of gory visuals sure to make you look away from the screen every once in a while.

The lack of focus becomes apparent around halfway through the movie. While jokes are constantly being thrown out I’m confident in saying that most of them don’t stick. I chuckled a few times and genuinely thought some scenes were funny, but nothing made me feel like I had to control my laughter.

Chemistry

Tallahassee (Harrelson), Columbus (Eisenberg) and Wichita (Stone) have one of the greatest on-screen relationships I’ve seen in a long time going to the cinema. They allowed me to dive into their world. They made me feel like their relationships were real and that’s not an easy task. Outside of those three, I think the acting takes a little bit of a hit. No one else steals the show and its kind of disappointing. 

While Little Rock’s (Breslin) performance didn’t seem off, the writing for her was just bad. I felt like her motivation didn’t make much sense. Watching her story unfold reminded me of films that simply go by the book. For example, before the climax, the main characters have a falling out or a character thought to be dead comes back and saves everyone. It was just so predictable that I dreaded even having her on screen. She got much less screen time than the other three main characters which to me was a good idea. 

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Conclusion

While the wait was long we finally did receive the sequel to the cult classic known as “Zombieland.” The film doesn’t feel too out of place. It feels like we never left besides for a few differences. When Little Rock decided she wanted to leave her friends and family it gave the writers much freedom. However, maybe it was too much freedom.

The film lacks direction and if the jokes were to fall more often I don’t think that audiences would care. Many times in the movie I felt like they were just stalling to get to that 109 minutes run time. However, the chemistry between our protagonists will keep spectators entertained just because of how well they work together.

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Sadly that doesn’t save the film from wasting a few resources. The new characters such as Madison (Zoey Deutch) and Berkeley (Avan Jogia) weren’t fleshed out in the slightest. They both were one-note characters, but it still feels like neither of them reached their true potential. 

With a more refined focus and fewer jokes that tattered on the edge of annoyance, I think that this sequel could’ve blown the original out of the water. It’s still definitely worth watching, especially if you enjoyed the first.

Verdict 7.5 out of 10 Stars

Zombieland: Double Tap (Rated R) is playing at a theater near you.

The Best Sequel Yet!

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As the lights dimmed soon after the film began I see Woody and the gang back together and my inner child wanted to leap out. This is a very different Toy Story from what we are used to. Not only plot-wise but even the tone at times. Hours after watching the film I’m still thinking about the rush of emotions I felt throughout this wonderful adventure.

Woody, Buzz Lightyear and the rest of the group have been given to a little girl named Bonnie and they join her on a road trip with her family and a brand new toy, Forky. Along their journey, both familiar faces and newcomers are met.

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Everyone Laughs

Making jokes for both adults and children is not an easy task. Not only does Toy Story 4 accomplish its goal for being comical for all ages. It surpasses all of the past films with its comedic genius.

While it can be argued that some jokes went on for too long. Personally, I enjoyed the majority of them and the jokes that didn’t fall for me were inoffensive.

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Emotional Rollercoaster

Throughout this series, I’ve never felt this many emotions from one particular film. One moment you’ll be happy seeing some of your favorite characters from your childhood. Then the next you’ll feel heartbroken. Admittedly I did cry twice during the movie and for a bunch of toys to make me feel such a strong emotion must be commended.

Missed Opportunity

I can’t think of anything terrible in this film. The worst that I can think of is just missed opportunities. The main focus of this story is on Woody and a character thought to be forgotten. While having a focused story did benefit the plot it made the huge collection of toys who have been important throughout the series feel wasted.

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New Additions Are Welcomed

I was concerned about Forky during the promotions he just didn’t seem like an interesting character. I’m overjoyed to say that I was wrong and he’s one of the best parts of the film. With his addition, It is my belief that it made the film stand out from past entries.

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Conclusion

While a fourth film wasn’t necessary for this series Pixar made it work. There’s a story to be told here and they weren’t just capitalizing off of everyone’s nostalgia. This film made me laugh, cry, and reminded me why I love movies.

Visually it looks perfect so crisp and so clean. The lengths that the animators went to just to make this film look as beautiful as it does must be appreciated.

While it is my belief that some characters have wasted potential it doesn’t make the film worse. Not to mention the new characters easily pick up the slack. Regardless of age, I recommend this film wholeheartedly it is a fantastic watch.

Verdict 9 out of 10 Stars