Zombieland: Double Tap
Directed by: Ruben Fleischer
Starring: Abigail Breslin, Emma Stone, Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg
Rated R for bloody violence, language throughout, some drug and sexual content
Runtime: 1 hr., 39 mins.
Has it been 10 years since the release of the first #Zombieland#? My, time does fly. In the meantime, our four stars have gone on to bigger and better things. Abigail Breslin has seen her career take off. Woody Harrelson and Jesse Eisenberg have each been nominated for Oscars. Emma Stone took home a golden boy in 2017. Sigh! How the children have grown.
So, with such prestigious reputations in Hollywood, why would they return for such a second go around? Hmm. Money. Fun. Money. The question is, why not? If you could do this, have a great time and get paid, wouldn’t you jump at the chance? H-e-double-hockey-sticks-yeah!
A decade has passed and our gang of four — Tallahassee (Harrelson), Columbus (Eisenberg), Wichita (Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) — has stuck together as a family. Their goal now is to take back the White House in Washington, D.C.
After the usual battles with zombies, they conquer and settle in, each to their own quarters. Tallahassee takes the Oval Office for his man cave. Columbus and Wichita are a couple, so they take the Lincoln Room.
Little Rock, however, is grumpy because she has no friends and Tallahassee as her father figure won’t allow her much mingling. Add to this the fact that Wichita is overwhelmed by Columbus’ engagement proposal with . . . wait for it . . . the Hope Diamond. Tired of their present company, the two girls scram with Tallahassee’s modified limo called “the beast,” leaving only a scribbled note.
Tallahassee and Columbus commiserate together in a local mall. Well, really, it’s Columbus whining, though Tallahassee does miss his vehicle. Suddenly, they hear a noise and discover another resident — a ditzy blond in a pink jumpsuit who has been hiding in a freezer in the local Pinkberry Yogurt Shop.
Madison (Zoey Deutch) is talky and . . . squeaky. Nails on a chalkboard to Tallahassee, but to Columbus, a reprieve. He’s lonely. She’s horny. They join forces.
Then, out of the blue, Wichita comes back to say she’s sorry; that is, until she notices who has moved in. Trouble for Columbus. Even more trouble when Tallahassee learns that Little Rock has absconded with the beast and her hippie boyfriend, Berkeley (Avan Jogia). To find her, they all pile in a green minivan on the road trip to hell.
Writers Dave Callaham and Rhett Reese do engage in some satire, but it’s not heavy handed. Rather, it’s a boatload of sight gags and dialogue that passes between passengers.
Director Ruben Fleischer, returning to his former chair, allows a little more time for leisure in between zombie battles. Sometimes it threatens to go sappy and cranky, but the addition of new blood keeps it lively. Deutch, Luke Wilson, Rosario Dawson and Thomas Middleditch (Verizon guy aka Flagstaff) all have their moments. From the Hound Dog Hotel to the monster truck Big Fat Death. From the White House to Babylon. Not to mention all the different categories of zombies, especially the newly minted T-800. Terminator!
This is not thoughtful humor. This is just plain goofy, but Fleischer knows his way around this stuff. He’s compadres with Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis. You know: the usual useless, thoughtless, weird humor. Not deep, just funny.
Call this dumb comedy if you like, but there’s plenty of room in Hollywood for this kind of stuff, if it works. And in this case, it does.
So, why see this film? Why not? What else do you have to do that’s as unimportant as seeing zombies get their skulls crushed? Plus, hearing Elvis jokes, zipping around in monster trucks and, oh yeah, a trunk full of music jokes. This is just popcorn-munchy stuff without any higher purpose than having fun. Now I ask you: Is there any better reason you can think of for wasting time and money? I didn’t think so.