REVIEW: Zombieland Double Tap Only “Double Taps” Its Own Franchise

REVIEW: Zombieland Double Tap Only “Double Taps” Its Own Franchise

Kody Krawczuk, Staff Writer



2009’s Zombieland is one of the best zombie films of the modern age; it balances comedy, gore, and drama flawlessly thanks to its future-star-studded cast and incredibly compact script, along with fantastic directing from horror/comedy champion Ruben Fleischer. However, it’s impossible to say that the film isn’t dated. References, jokes, outfits, and even the premise all feel right at home in 2009, making the film a time capsule to a bygone era of MySpace, Invader Zim reruns, and lolCATS memes.


The highly-anticipated sequel, however, is hardly even a shadow of its predecessor, because it doesn’t adapt itself. The plot is almost beat-for-beat ripped from the original, and many of the jokes (barring one hysterical cut-away gag that involves a survivor dropping the Leaning Tower of Pisa on a group of zombies for Zombie Kill of the Year) feel like they were just in deleted scenes from the original. The marketing heavily promoted the new characters, which included a “dumb blonde” stereotype and doppelgängers of our main heroes, both of which are unfunny and uninteresting. The “dumb blonde” joke is already done to death, but this movie uses the trope as if it’s the first to ever invent the “girl is blonde and dumb and rich” schtick.


The acting is passable (except for Woody Harrelson and Jesse Eisenburg, who give stellar performances, as per usual), the dialogue is wooden and bland, and the directing is outright BORING at times, with very few attempts to jazz up or change what already works. The gore and over-the-top zombie violence are nothing we haven’t seen in EVERY “funny” piece of zombie media, and the “new” type of zombies feel more like a bunch of extras wore the wrong shirt and the cast decided to make that part of the story… and then decided not to again, as it’s brought up precious few times in the script.


In a time where AMC’s The Walking Dead can blow people away with modern drama in a zombie apocalypse, one could at least ask that Double Tap would do something new with the premise of an unconventional, dysfunctional family surviving during a zombie outbreak… but it doesn’t. The tear-jerking reveal of Tallahassee’s (Woody Harrelson’s character) “dog” that he lost to the zombies actually being his young child is one of Zombieland’s best moments, but Double Tap can’t even get that right. It (quite literally) uses the same cliche plot from the original, with none of the comedy or drama that made the original so fun despite its cliches.


Zombieland: Double Tap would have been a passable movie in 2012, but in 2019, it feels dated, lazy, and just not “weird” enough to stand near the original. 



1 out of 5 stars.



If you’re a big Zombieland fan, or just like seeing Woody Harrelson act like Jim Carrey in the 90’s, scoop it up on DVD whenever it ends up in Walmart bargain bins. Otherwise, don’t bother wasting your time with this movie.