‘Zombieland: Double Tap’ is fun, but needed much more land of zombies

Vincent Schilling

#NativeNerd movie review: Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg and Emma Stone generated good laughs, but I felt only moderately satisfied

It’s been ten years since the first incarnation of Zombieland hit the big screen back in 2009. And you would think the creators might have invested the time to create something a bit more impressive with such an allotted amount of time. We are talking an entire decade here.

I liked Woody Harrelson’s character Tallahassee who was quick with consistent sarcastic remarks and his extreme distaste for the evolution of the zombies. 

He has a right to be angry and annoyed as the new, evolved zombies are more deadly. They are harder to kill, faster in their attacks and seem to be gaining an edge in taking over the world one unsuspecting uninfected human at a time.

But I can't stand Harrelson's counterpart. I’ve never been thrilled with Jesse Eisenberg’s approach to many of his characters, which emulate the standard clueless twenty-something nerd. He could capitalize on such a character, but instead, I feel he tends to over-emphasize the hesitance to speak, and only taps into the annoying aspects of a clueless millennial with a complete lack of any confidence. I say this with the knowledge that his acting isn't bringing out these qualities in his character in Zombieland, it is the essence of every character he plays in any film. The characters are identical. 

Emma Thompson, Eisenberg’s girlfriend in the film, at least exchanges one-liners with Eisenberg, to salvage some aspects of the movie.

The movie overall

So, combine extreme ways to kill zombies, add lots of putrid gore, and then have the team happen upon the White House, which is unscathed by the apocalypse. Then you have Zombieland: Double Tap. Without giving anything away, we’ll just say there are doppelgängers in the midst of the movie, which make little sense other than to provide some comic relief.

I laughed a bit at several moments in the film, but never really gave up much more than a bit of a chuckle. The movie was fun, even funny-ish, but it was far from hilarious.

Throw in a strange millennial guy who fits the bill of a stereotypical hippie and woos the younger actress named ‘Little Rock,’ portrayed by Abigail Breslin. They run off together, the rest of the team searches for her, they run into Rosario Dawson, dress up like Elvis and then set up an attack plan for an oncoming zombie herd.

Ok, there were attempts to be a bit creative, but it didn’t really work. I only found refuge in the constant bickering of the team, the airheadedness of Madison played by Zoey Deutsch, and the constant gruesome ways they kept killing zombies.

I wasn’t really surprised by the ending, and overall, I was left feeling a bit underwhelmed.

It’s hard to explain something that happens perceptively when I am watching some films. But there are times when I am watching a movie, where I can feel, or imagine a world outside of the story I am being told. Effectively, I can imagine a world outside of the movie world.

In this film, I didn’t sense anything was happening outside of what I was watching. I didn’t feel that there were other groups of zombie-fighters anywhere else in the Zombieland universe.

There was no world, outside this world.

I thought it was fun, I enjoyed the movie, kind of, but I left the theater wanting more.

Whatever you do, at least stay after the movie credits, there are end scenes that are hilarious with one of my favorite actors. I won’t spoil it. But believe me, it’s worth it.

One hint: “Garfield coughing up a hairball.”

Native Nerd Phone

Follow the #NativeNerd, Vincent Schilling, associate editor for Indian Country Today

Twitter at @VinceSchilling

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Vincent Schilling is a certified critic on Rotten Tomatoes https://www.rottentomatoes.com/critic/vincent-schilling/movies

Email - vschilling@indiancountrytoday.com

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