Rule #2: The Double Tap
Zombieland: Double Tap | Directed By Ruben Fleischer | R | Horror-Comedy | 99 Minutes
by Jocelyn Illing
Watching Zombieland: Double Tap was like seeing an old friend. Although the two of you have not seen each other in quite some time, you have not forgotten the special bond that you share and the memories that you have made together. Being separated for so long has made you forget just how great they are and how much you have missed them. At this difficult time in your life, they are just what you needed.
The film picks up years after the previous film left off with the gang now living in the White House. Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) and Wichita (Emma Stone) are still together, but their relationship is far from domestic bliss. Although Columbus seems content with where they are, it is obvious that Wichita has become restless and craves independence. Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), on the other hand, has settled quite nicely into his father figure role towards Little Rock (Abigail Breslin). However, as she is now an adult, Little Rock has inherited her sister’s taste for independence and adventure, leading her to steal Tallahassee’s car in search of something new to call her own. What follows is a wild goose-chase as Wichita races after her sister and Columbus and Tallahassee follow close-behind.
What made the original film a classic, and the latest film a success, are the expertly written fearsome foursome. Columbus is a cute as ever; a dorky geek boy obsessed with order lists and rules. Awkward with girls and the possessor of a heart of gold, Columbus is the underdog that the audience loves and roots for. Woody Harrelson reprises his iconic role as Tallahassee the hilarious and outrageous scene-stealer, the vessel for a string of quotable one-liners. In this instalment we see an even softer, paternal side of Tallhasse as he struggles to hide his fear for Little Rock as she wanders the country alone. Just like the last film, Emma Stone proves to be the true bad-ass of the film. However, although her character continues to kick ass and fight to protect her sister, I could not help but feel that Stone was not putting a full effort into the character. Now that she is an Oscar winner, is she too cool for action films? Finally we have Little Rock, who is now an actual ADULT if you can believe it. Like many young adults, she is struggling to find her own identity and prove to her family, and the viewers, that she isn’t a kid anymore.
The film also includes a few new characters, who proved to be both excellent and questionable additions to the series. One of the best additions is Nevada (Rosario Dawson), the smart, sassy and resourceful owner of an Elvis-themed motel who proves to be quite the match for Tallahasee. Less interesting is Zoey Deutch’s character Madison, a girly-girl dumb blonde whose squeaky high-pitched voice will definitely make you want to wear earplugs. Although she provides a contrast to the other characters, with her bright pinks clothes and aforementioned vocal style, Madison doesn’t really add anything to the narrative, apart from being the butt of a slue of dumb blonde jokes.
The film’s plot almost parallels the original’s. It relies heavily on references and the formula of the first film; killing zombies, a surprise swam and a climactic moment in which you think all is over for the heroes. However, it is these specific narrative points that made the first film so successful. True fans of the film will welcome them again with open arms, as they will remind them just why they love the franchise. You will watch as the characters struggle to acquire vehicles, list off the rules for surviving Zombieland and follow Tallahassee in his search for his favourite dead celebrity.
In conclusion, I truly believe that this film is a movie for the fans. It brings nothing new to the world of cinema but provides the audience with a type of nostalgia, transporting them back to a time when the world was more simple. It’s simply a feel-good, Friday night, fun movie. However, if you are not a fan of the first film, this is not the movie for you.