Occasionally humorous sequel with the original cast. Listen to John and Jordan above do their own critical Zombie routine.
Zombieland: Double Tap
Director: Ruben Fleischer (Venom)
Screenplay: Dave Callahan (Expendables, Godzilla), Rhett Reese (Deadpool 2), Paul Wernick (Deadpool)
Cast: Woody Harrelson (The Highwaymen), Abagail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine)
Runtime: 1 hr 39 min
By: John DeSando
"In a world ruled by the dead, we are forced to finally start living." Robert Kirkman
The original Zombieland was pretty amusing; the current Zombieland: Double Click not so much. Give director, co-writer Ruben Fleisher credit for the original and its sequel: The original cast members are enthusiastic Zombie crushers with a subtext of cohesive, if sometimes feisty, family members determined to keep the family intact despite the danger out-of-control zombies pose.
Especially because the new generation of zombies is much more resistant to the old ways of eradicating them (guns, fire, folding chairs, etc.) are less effective. Adding Marilyn-Monroe-type blonde airhead Madison (Zoey Deutch) to the regular family doesn’t always increase their effectiveness in eradicating the brainless devils, but she sure is funny.
It is fun to watch ersatz-paterfamilias Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) still loving his guns, and nerdy, clueless Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) get it on seriously with Wichita (Emma Stone, in a thankless role for an Oscar lady), just to name a few. Beyond the silly repetition of head bashing and easy liberal-conservative warfare is the enduring need to keep the family together, given that Little Rock (Abagail Breslin) has taken off with, egads! a liberal hippie, Berkeley (Avan Jogia). You can imagine how that union energizes Tallahassee to save her.
Races to escape the hungry zombies, tossed off cultural quips, and family squabbling are staples of this now franchise. It’s all amusing in a low-level way. Satisfying would be if the figurative meaning of brainless Americans devouring their fellow Americans were fleshed out, so to speak. But, hey, a wacky Woody as patriarch is worth a bit of relaxing time.
“I have nothing against hippies, I just wanna beat the shit out of 'em.” Tallahassee
John DeSando, a Los Angeles Press Club first-place winner for National Entertainment Journalism, hosts WCBE’s It’s Movie Time and co-hosts Cinema Classics. Contact him at JDeSando@Columbus.rr.com