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October 25, 2019

Zombieland 2 (2019) --- “Home Isn't A Place. It's The People You're With."

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Hello, Movie Buffs!
     Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), Wichita (Emma Stone), and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) have spent the last 10 years surviving in a post-apocalyptic zombie-infested America by taking what they want, living where they want, and killing any zombie that happens to cross their path. Now they have decided to put down roots in their new home: the long-abandoned White House, but not everyone is thrilled with this decision. Tired of being treated like a child and longing to find someone her own age, Little Rock decides to run away and ends up falling for Berkeley (Avan Jogia), a hippy, stoner guy who has a non-violence rule towards everyone, including the zombies. Determined to find their missing family member, Tallahassee, Columbus, Wichita and their newfound friend Madison (Zoey Deutch) set off to find her. Along the way, they encounter new faces such as the Elvis enthusiast Nevada (Rosario Dawson), the eerily familiar duo Albuquerque (Luke Wilson) and Flagstaff (Thomas Middleditch), and some evolved zombies that prove to smarter, stronger, and more dangerous than all the rest. Can this quirky family reunite in time to stop a swarm of evolved zombies from taking over and eating their brains? Or is it already too little too late? 
     Director Ruben Fleischer (Venom, Jekyll) and writers Rhett Reese (Deadpool franchise) and Paul Wernick (Deadpool franchise) return along with fellow writer Dave Callaham (Wonder Woman 1984) to helm Zombieland: Double Tap (2019), the sequel to the 2009 classic Zombieland. The first film was a lot of fun with a gleeful self-referencing nature that effectively balances between being gory and humorous. It was a zombie film that knew it was a zombie film and had fun re-establishing that in every scene. Now all of our favorite characters are back and the story continues exactly 10 years since we last saw them. Thanks to the witty writings by Reese, Wernick, and now Callaham, Double Tap proves to be just as fun and entertaining as the last film. The story diverts from most sequels by not rehashing many of the same elements, there is a lot more humor, and the horror to this horror-comedy is set to the max with plenty of creative zombie kills that make for a messy cringeworthy experience. Throughout the story, the characters are consistently distracted from their main mission by other forces, and while this is used character development, it also gives the film a roaming or meandering feel, which doesn’t help for the film’s fast pace. Nevertheless, Double Tap is still the same fun and stupid zombie film that captures the same tone as the first but it also manages to add a few new elements and expands upon the zombie world that was established in the first film. 
     The cast performances are great and the cast itself is much larger. Woody Harrelson (Midway), Jesse Eisenberg (Now You See Me franchise, Resistance), Abigail Breslin (Scream Queens), and Emma Stone (Cruella, The Croods franchise) fall back into their same easy chemistry and snappy banter that we enjoyed the last time. There were a number of new additions to the film that helped improve the story. Zoey Deutch (The Politician) as Madison, a dippy and dumb blond who has managed to stay alive the last 10 years by hiding in a mall’s Pinkberry freezer. And while she is a one-joke idea dressed in her pink velour Juicy Couture sweats and her dim-witted Valley Girl voice, Madison is a sunny and guileless character that is a welcome respite in a cold and bleak world. Rosario Dawson (Jane the Virgin, Rent) as Nevada, and Elvis-enthusiast and Tallahassee’s love interest, is great but the romance between her and Harrelson’s characters is barely there. Avan Jogia (Now Apocalypse, Ghost Wars) was the perfect choice to play hippy pacifist Berkeley who is much funnier then one might expect, however, he is outshined by the other new additions. Luke Wilson (The Goldfinch) as Albuquerque and Thomas Middleditch (Godzilla: King of Monsters) as Flagstaff greet funny as the eerie doppelgängers of Tallahassee and Columbus. The only issue that I found with the characters is that they never fully given the chance to develop in more meaningful and compelling ways. Perhaps, if this film had come out a year or two after the first film then the filmmakers would have been able to get away with it but since its been 10 years audiences are looking for more fleshed out characters maybe even with a little more backstory as to what has been going on since we last saw them.
     Overall, Zombieland: Double Tap (2019) is an entertaining sequel that defends its existence by delivering another hilarious zombie film that knows its a zombie film. The story is filled with references from the first film and the horror aspect has been taken up a notch. The cast is much larger this time around, featuring new additions that add to the storyline and gives the main characters a chance to interact with other people. All in all, Double Tap is still the same fun and stupid zombie film that captures the same tone as the first but it also manages to add a few new elements and expands upon the zombie world that was established in the first film. I highly recommend this to fans of the first film and I also advise parents that due to the gore, blood, and profanity, this is not suitable for children.

Final Vote --- 7.7 of 10 stars

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Movies Similar
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Kick-Ass 2 (2013)
Shaun of the Dead (2004)
Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World (2010)
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The World's End (2013)
Zombieland (2009)

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