8/10 Sequels released after a long period of time either tend to be hit (“Incredibles 2”) or miss (“Dumb and Dumber To”) and due to rather weak trailers, I feared that this follow up would be dead on arrival. Luckily, “Zombieland: Double Tap” doesn’t just copy the original and realizes that with so much more zombie content out there today, that this film would have to step up its game. Returning writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick are joined by Dave Callaham and they’ve put out one of the funniest films of the year. I think the reason why the trailers were rather weak was because the marketing team rightfully kept the film’s best and funniest parts out of the trailers, as to not spoil the film’s great moments. I also love that despite everyone’s star power having grown since the first film 10 years ago (Emma Stone in particular), the core four decided to all come back for this sequel. I would love to see a final film 10 years from now but who knows if that will happen? This film wisely expands the cast to include some new memorable characters and the Tallahassee/Columbus doppelgangers (Albuquerque and Flagstaff) provide some hilarious material. Some of the action is well done too as a two on two fight has the camera following all of the action without any cuts which was intense and impressive to see unfold. The set pieces near the end also rival the Pacific Playland finale from the first film. The emotional bonds and family dynamic of our main characters are really what makes this film stand out. Instead of only going for laughs and violence, which this film has plenty of, the film makers made sure that these characters have growth in their story line arcs and that we care about them and their triumphs and defeats. There are some minor issues with this film, however. Since this has been 10 years since the zombie outbreak, the fact that certain people are still alive is completely ridiculous. There is also a huge ex machina near the end of the film and once in a while characters make decisions that don’t seem true to their characters just to advance the plot forward. Flaws aside, this is a really fun film that stands right next to the first one in terms of high quality. A certain someone returns to cameo and definitely makes up for his work in his other zombie movie of 2019, “The Dead Don’t Die”. If you are looking for an entertaining, heartfelt and action filled place to go, look no further than Zombieland.
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