Zombieland: Double Tap (2019)

*. Yeah, I’m not sure why I bothered with this one. I didn’t like Zombieland. So the pull quote on the DVD box — “Just as great as the first Zombieland” — wasn’t that big a draw. But I guess I figured that after ten years they’d had time to come up with something new. They certainly had the budget and the talent to make it work.
*. Or maybe I was just curious.
*. I wasn’t impressed. They didn’t even have a new script. After bonding as a family at the end of the last movie the quartet of Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), Wichita (Emma Stone), and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) quickly fall apart again. Which means they have to go on the road, again, and learn to come together as a family. Again. Instead of going to Pacific Playland they go to a commune called Babylon. Same thing. Same desperate final battle, where it seems all is lost until . . . you get the picture.
*. So it’s more of the same. Which isn’t the worst thing in the world. A bit disappointing, as you’d think they’d have found more for the supporting players, including a very game Zoey Deutch, Luke Wilson, and Rosario Dawson, to do. But I guess they figured they had to follow the rules. Or the commandments. Or the formula.
*. I was puzzled as to why they bothered with the T-800 zombies. They don’t serve any plot function. Nothing hinges on the fact that the survivors are facing a new breed of super zombie. And they pretty much behave the same way. They certainly aren’t any smarter (or even as smart as the “Hawking” model). On the commentary track director Ruben Fleischer calls them a “bigger, badder, harder-to-kill zombie,” but they aren’t bigger, they’re no more or less bad, and the only reason they’re harder to kill is because when fighting them our heroes inexplicably stop going for head shots. Why is anyone surprised when the zombie Tallahassee shoots keeps coming at him? He hasn’t shot it in the head yet. Of course it’s still going.
*. In my notes on Mandy I mentioned how strange it was that for a 2016 movie, albeit set in 1983, hippies were still being presented as such bad people. I guess here they’ve moved up to becoming the butt of jokes, but still it’s a perplexing American obsession. What’s so funny about peace, love, and understanding?
*. In any event, here we have hippies, again, submitted to our mockery. The only one who gets a name is, of course, Berkeley. I guess in a red-in-tooth-and-claw world like our own, one revealed in all its essentials by way of the zombie apocalypse, we should despise this gang of tree-huggers and social justice warriors. Such an attitude is of a piece with the related depiction of anyone concerned with the fate of the Earth as an eco-terrorist (as in Inferno, et al.).
*. Note also, by the way, how young all of the Babylonians are. I guess this is another kick at Millennials. And throw in the generation after them as well. Even our comedies have become reactionary, in a political sense. When Tallahassee whoops “Thank God for rednecks!” he means it. And as for beating swords into ploughshares, or melting guns down into peace symbols, you can fuck that noise.
*. As a zomromcom I can barely give it a passing grade. The zom part doesn’t add anything new to the mix, even with the Zombie Kills of the Year. The rom is just a replay of the first movie. The com is only banter. Twenty minutes after I finished watching it, when I started writing up these notes, I couldn’t remember a single funny line. An easy enough way to pass the time, but a decade after Zombieland it actually seems more like a step backward than running in place.

2 thoughts on “Zombieland: Double Tap (2019)

  1. tensecondsfromnow

    I’m not sure why, but zombie apocalypse films are not on my agenda right now. Quite enjoyed the first one, but can’t engender much enthusiasm for another go round…not even sure if America has hippies anymore…

    Reply
    1. Alex Good Post author

      I think the idea is that young people interested in the environment, or just holding any kind of progressive political beliefs, are second wave hippies. And thus worthy of scorn if not elimination. As for the zombie apocalypse, I reckon it peaked around the time of 28 Days Later. I enjoy zombie movies but they haven’t been doing anything new with the genre for quite a while now.

      Reply

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