Waiting 10 years to do a sequel for a successful comedy isn’t always a good move. It worked poorly for the unfunny Anchorman 2. Luckily for fans of the original Zombieland…Double Tap taps into a lot of the same humor (and only recycles a few jokes). I found it funnier than the original, and was glad they made it more of a comedy with less zombies.
Director Ruben Fleischer (Venom) is back and so is the chemistry of the cast. The beautiful Rosario Dawson is on board (and I’ve always had a soft spot for her after something she did for me at Comic Con one year). Yet it’s the newest member of the cast that steals every scene she’s in. Zoey Deutch is hysterical as a ditzy valley girl type, who is living in the freezer of a Pinkberry at a mall. She says her lines like a girl that is just fine living in a mall and spending her days shopping. Her arrival creates a love triangle that’s also a bit of fun.
Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), who hysterically narrates parts of the picture, is enjoying his new digs — at the White House. He gives the Hope Diamond as an engagement ring to girlfriend Wichita (Emma Stone). She doesn’t seem thrilled about the idea of settling down.
Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) is as grumpy as ever, and that’s driving a wedge between him and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin). Yet he seems to also enjoy hanging on Pennsylvania Avenue, chompin’ a cigar and pretending to be the President, signing a pardon for Wesley Snipes (Harrelson’s co-star in White Men Can’t Jump).
It’s not all fun and games for this rag-tag group, as the zombies have evolved into different types. That makes for some fun explanations from Columbus, and it helps give this film a vibe that made me think of the criminally underrated Scott Pilgrim vs the World.
Who cares that there isn’t much of a plot, other than characters wanting to find someone and visit Graceland. Since it’s only an hour and a half, time flies by and there are plenty of laughs.
This movie also has the best cameo/revisit of a character since Christopher Lloyd played Doc (Back to the Future) five years ago in A Million Ways to Die in the West.
It also has the funniest reference to a book that I can remember, when Columbus has to shoot a nice survivor who starts to become a zombie. As he grabbed his rifle and she ran for the hills, he gave chase, muttering “Time to teach Lenny about the rabbits.”
I’m giving the movie another half a star for having Tallahassee, after finally making it to Graceland, sit at a piano and belt out “Never Been to Spain” (the Hoyt Axton song Three Dog Night had a hit with). Of all the Presley covers to cover, something about that just worked brilliantly.
3 ½ out of 5.
THIS JUST IN….apparently, there’s a scene at the very, very end of the credits. I didn’t realize this and left after the first funny scenes in the middle of the credits.