Review: Return to ‘Zombieland,’10 years later

Photo courtesy of IMDb.

By Gaby Salazar | Copy Editor

Columbus, Tallahassee, Little Rock and Wichita are back with “Zombieland: Double Tap”, a sequel to the 2009 hit movie “Zombieland.”

While audiences are reacquainted with actors Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin, the film also introduces new, humorous characters played by some familiar actors like Luke Wilson, Avan Jogia and Rosario Dawson.

Although the film was a sequel fans weren’t necessarily dying to see, audiences now are definitely glad it’s here. The gang goes off on another adventure when Little Rock (Breslin), now a teenager, seeks to find a way out of her zombie-killing family. When she leaves, she meets Berkeley (Jogia), a hippie who gives her a new direction alongside him on his way to a peaceful camp called Babylon.

I was pleased to see that the characters’ strong bond from the previous film was still present throughout the sequel. It has been 10 years since the first Zombieland film hit theaters, and has also been 10 years that have gone by for the characters in the film as they wander Z-land together. Our characters haven’t changed their personalities much since the first movie, but the film still leaves room for new scenarios to cause rifts in their relationships.

One of the best parts about the movie was the new characters the gang meets along the way to Babylon in search of Little Rock. Columbus runs into a girl named Madison (Deutch) at the mall, a stereotypical “dumb blonde” who has managed to survive by hiding in a freezer. Zoey Deutch’s character made the movie fun to watch, and she definitely brings the largest share of laughs to the audience.

There is also plenty of romance in the film, along with some expected drama. Emma Stone’s character Wichita calls it quits with Columbus after he proposes to her, and Little Rock becomes interested in Berkely. Even Tallahassee finds romance with a survivor named Nevada, played by Dawson.

If you loved the first “Zombieland,” then you’ll probably love the sequel too. However, I think one of the reasons audiences initially fell in love with the first movie was that it had a fresh, fun perspective on the zombie apocalypse. In “Zombieland: Double Tap,” the zombies have now been studied long enough to actually be categorized as a type of zombie, which adds a unique layer of complexity to the zombie characters.

Making a sequel to a somewhat-cult classic is hard enough, yet this film delivers a lot of what audiences originally loved about the movie. Yet nobody was really anticipating a sequel after almost 10 years, so the bar may have been set pretty low to begin with.

Is the sequel as good as the original? If you love a good ‘Zom-Rom-Com,’ the answer is yes. But is it better than the first? Not really. The main difference boils down to the pacing of both films, with the first movie having an excellent, fast-paced start to the first half and overall better pacing.

The ending to the original was also miles better. There was an epic zombie-killing spree at the carnival, and also elements of romance and thrill when Columbus and Wichita finally solidified their feelings for each other after their lives were saved. In comparison, the new film’s ending falls a little flat. I get that after 10 years in Z-Land, you’d get pretty good at killing zombies, but the gang’s expertise made fighting a swarm of zombies look a bit too easy.

Overall, “Zombieland: Double Tap” is worth the price of admission. The sequel delivers plenty of laughs, drama and gory zombie-killing. And be sure to stick around for the after-credit scenes.