When it comes to long-awaited sequels, good ones are hard to find. For every “Incredibles 2” or “Halloween” (2018), there’s a “Zoolander 2” or “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.” It’s incredibly difficult for filmmakers to capture the magic of the film before it, especially after so much time between installments.
When “Zombieland: Double Tap”, a sequel to the 2009 hit “Zombieland,” was announced nearly a decade after the first film’s release, the film’s original cast of Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Abigail Breslin, Emma Stone and creative team were set to return.
Reactions seemed to be fueled by excitement, but many were concerned the sequel would not live up to the same level as the first film did.
I’m a very big fan of the first film. The comedy is stellar. The performances and creative world building helped to set this film apart from other horror-comedies, even to this day.
“Double Tap” was even one of my most anticipated films of the year. Right before the film started, I was incredibly terrified that this sequel would taint the legacy the first film had left on me and so many others.
Much to my surprise, “Zombieland: Double Tap” may actually be better than its predecessor, doing everything a good sequel needs to do.
It’s bigger, bloodier and, perhaps most importantly, funnier than the first film. From the very top of the film, I was immediately taken back in Zombieland and was reminded of why I loved this world in the first place.
The world-building done to set up what we’ve missed over the past 10 years in Zombieland throughout the film is incredibly well done.
With new threats and a changing landscape, Zombieland is not what it was 10 years ago, and the first few minutes of the film perfectly fill both newcomers and fans alike in on what we’ve missed.
The screenwriting team doubled down on jokes and kept a lot of running gags from the first film in the fray, and I honestly don’t remember a single scene I didn’t laugh throughout.
You also want to make sure to stay seated when the credits begin because a surprise mid-credits scene with a few high profile cameos awaits, and it may just be the funniest and most fun part of the entire movie.
The entire returning cast is absolutely stellar once again, with Harrellson and Stone standing out and once again showcasing how much range they have as performers. (Give Emma Stone more comedic roles!)
You can feel how much fun the cast was having with this film.
The real star of this film, though, is Zoey Deutch. She steals every single scene she is in with ease, and she never fails to surprise with insane one-liners and physical comedy. Her “dumb blonde” routine never gets old, and her jokes never stop coming, even in big action scenes.
Deutch easily runs away with the film, and I hope she gets some more work after years of great roles in smaller projects.
The action is also amped up quite a few notches, and the film has multiple great setpieces, including one long-take that was so enthralling and captivating I didn’t even realize that it was one long-take.
The final action sequence of the film is also incredibly well executed, filled with surprises and some unexpected plot points, subverting the expectations I had going into the finale. The zombie kills are plentiful, inventive and hilarious, and the new threats and situations the film throws at the characters only adds to the fun.
If there’s one word I’ve used a lot in this review, it’s fun. But there really isn’t another word to describe “Zombieland: Double Tap.” It builds off of the first film and ramps up nearly every factor that made it such a success, and it makes for an absolutely thrilling and hilarious ride.
My roommate, Tyler, said “Double Tap” was the best movie he has ever seen, and, while I doubt the legitimacy of this statement, I can agree that this return to Zombieland was an awesome time.
As long as it’s as good as this film, I’ll gladly wait another 10 years to return to Zombieland.
Staff Writer Kyler Guebert can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @kguebert88.
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