Zombieland Double Tap cast: Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, Jesse Eisenberg, Abigail Breslin, Zoey Deutch, Rosario Dawson, Luke Wilson
Zombieland Double Tap director: Ruben Fleischer
Zombieland Double Tap rating: 3.5 stars
Ten years and the laughs are still coming. That is no mean achievement for the cast and crew of Zombieland, on paper a routine concept about four survivors in a world taken over by flesh-eating monsters. But, like in 2009, Harrelson’s Tallahassee, Stone’s Wichita, Eisenberg’s Columbus and Breslin’s Little Rock come riotously back together to killing and loving in Double Tap. Director Fleischer makes some inspired additions (Deutch is top-class and more, if typecast in the role of a floozy dressed in pink), while co-writer Rhett Reese also marks a return.
What adds an extra sheen to this venture is that since 2009, almost all of them have built an impressive resume (Harrelson, of course, having already been there), with Fleischer himself just off Gangster Squad and Venom. That they have put their collective trust into Double Tap says something, and in how the film gets right into the spirit in which it is made, they are proved right.
While the foursome have been surviving somehow, and getting attached to each other in the process despite vowing not to do so, the zombies have been getting stronger, faster and deadlier. Columbus nicknames them T-800, after the unbeatable androids of Terminator. Like in the first film, Wichita and sister Little Rock, by a set of circumstances, find themselves taking off on own, as Tallahassee and Columbus stake it out at the White House — which is in ruins, like everything else. To Tallahassee’s disgust, the girls take with them their favourite wheels, ‘The Beast’.
More than the presidential dwelling though, much as it lends itself to jokes, it is Elvis and the Graceland where the film’s heart lies. It is about Elvis’s idea of America vs Bob Dylan’s; rock-star tour buses vs lame mini-vans; originals vs copycats; Native American chieftains vs the Berkeley-wallahs; and the battles to fight and who fights them. You can take a guess which side is heavier, each time. However, Double Tap is as much a mockery of all of the above, not meant to be taken seriously, and not taking itself seriously either.
At the end of the day, in Tallahassee’s words, “It takes a real man to drive a pink cadillac.” And only unexpected survivors like Madison, armed against a zombie apocalypse with just a mace and pink stilettoes, to suggest a business idea that sounds like Uber. Too bad they don’t take seriously.