Time rolls on, but the rules remain the same: cardio, double tap, beware of bathrooms, seatbelts. It’s been ten years since Tallahassee, Columbus, Wichita and Little Rock survived the zombie apocalypse and since then they’ve been travelling light, but it’s come time to settle down, and where better than the vacant premises of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, better known as the White House?
Columbus is frightened of change, Tallahasse has no interest in it so long as he has guns and ammo and alcohol, but things are changing with new breeds of zombie evolving, the hapless Homers who present little threat, braindead even by the low standards of the walking dead, the Hawkings who are able to solve puzzles and use tools, and the Ninjas, masters of hiding and stealth attacks, but it’s not just the enemy who have changed; now in her twenties, Little Rock is no longer the baby of the family, while Wichita feels trapped.
Setting off on their own adventure in “the Beast,” Tallahasse’s heavily armed SUV, the boys are left behind to fend for themselves, Columbus moping about the mall until he encounters Madison, her survival possibly due to her having insufficient brains to actually engage a zombie’s hunger, but the returning Wichita tells them that Little Rock has set out on her own into territory occupied by a new breed of superzombie, impervious even to the double tap.
It’s rare for a sequel to arrive ten years after an original which was so well received and successful, but time is on the side of Zombieland: Double Tap, the passing time having allowed the characters to grow before their reunion, with all the principal cast returning, Solo’s Woody Harrelson, The Hummingbird Project‘s Jesse Eisenberg, Birdman‘s Emma Stone and Maggie‘s Abigail Breslin, joined by Daredevil‘s Rosario Dawson as the vivacious and capable Nevada and Beautiful Creatures‘ Zoey Deutch as walking liability Madison.
Directed by Ruben Fleischer from a script by Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick and Dave Callaham, the plot of Zombieland: Double Tap is slight but that is hardly the point, cruising instead on the laidback attitude and acerbic wit of the characters, Tallahasse in particular having found his niche in the Oval Office and begrudging anyone who requires him to move from it, but proving when needed that there is fight aplenty in the gang when threatened, in particular with the extended close-quarters battle when recently bitten presidential visitors are received and dispatched.
The zombie genre already oversaturated when the original was released, a few exceptions aside, The Girl With all the Gifts, It Stains the Sands Red and Little Monsters among them, the subsequent decade has offered little of note or originality so Zombieland: Double Tap is a relief, never letting the expectations of the market stop it from gleefully breaking whatever rules it needs to have a bloody good time.
Zombieland: Double Tap will be available on digital download from 10th February and on DVD and Blu-ray from 24th February