MOVIE REVIEW: Sequel totally worth waiting 10 years for
WHEN a movie waits 10 years to make a sequel, it's usually well past its use-by date. At that point, why even bother?
Well, that's the conventional wisdom anyway. A follow-up to the 2009 cult comedy, Zombieland: Double Tap is the sequel that took a decade to happen. It was going ahead ages ago, and then it wasn't, and then it was and then it wasn't. You get the picture.
And it was devoted fans crying out for Zombieland's winning combination of dry humour, cartoon violence and a cheeky attitude that finally saw their wishes bear fruit - and with the original cast, director and writers no less.
It's something Zombieland: Double Tap is acutely aware of because Jesse Eisenberg's Columbus even says in his voiceover narration, "You're back for seconds after all this time, thank you."
Which means you should expect a lot of fan service - and in this case, why not, it's the fans that deserve to be serviced.
Despite the time lapse, Zombieland: Double Tap is riotously fun, an unashamedly good time that'll have you chuckling with gusto.
The cars are bigger, the guns are bigger, and the zombies are faster and harder to kill. But this is a movie, and a genre, where being over-the-top actually works in its favour.
After spending years nesting in the now-abandoned White House, the four survivors - Columbus, Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) - have settled into a domestic pattern.
Here they exchange presents wrapped in canvas that was once a portrait of Taft and casually weaponise swords once bequeathed on Eisenhower by the Emperor of Japan. It's the kind of cruisy life King Ralph would've loved, but it's too confining for Little Rock who's yearning to break free from Tallahassee's fathering and find people her own age.
Wichita too also starts to feel trapped in her relationship with Columbus. When Columbus proposes to Wichita with the Hope Diamond in the Lincoln Bedroom, she and Little Rock take off the next day, leaving a crappy note.
While the four have become expert zombie hunters in the decade since the first film, the undead legion have started to evolve, or in some cases, devolve. The deadliest form of zombie is the T-800, where the double tap will simply not do. Which means the kills are that much messier.
Of course, there is a reunion because it wouldn't be Zombieland without the awesome foursome, but they also pick up some new friends, including scene-stealer Zoey Deutch as Madison, a stiletto-wearing airhead who somehow managed to survive by living in a freezer at the shopping centre.
Deutch's comedic timing is spot on and she will make you laugh with every line delivery. It's a character that could've been a cringey Saturday Night Live sketch but Deutch made it (metaphorically) sing and dance.
Then there's Rosario Dawson's Elvis-loving Nevada, Luke Wilson and Thomas Middleditch as Albuquerque and Flagstaff, a pair of hilariously familiar zombie hunters who are "not uniquely annoying".
Oh, and we finally get an answer to why there are still power stations running during this zombie apocalypse.
Director Ruben Fleischer has only made movies ranging from mediocre to bilious in the interim between the two Zombielands but he's on form here, playing where he's comfortable.
Screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick are now better known for writing the Deadpool movies, so newcomers to Zombieland should have a sense of the quick-witted and impolite humour to expect.
Zombieland: Double Tap doesn't really break new ground, it gives you a lot of what you loved last time, but it's as madcap and droll as its predecessor. It knows what its fans want and serves it up in generous, zany helpings. Plus, it's entertaining as all hell.
Tip: Stay for the mid-credits, you won't regret it.
Zombieland: Double Tap is in cinemas now
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