I really liked Zombieland. It’s not a perfect film by any stretch of the imagination but it has a great cast and a solid premise, and a few big laughs.
It was a surprise hit and made a ton of money so it’s no surprise that it got a sequel. What is surprising is that the sequel feels exactly the same as the original. That’s not always a deal-breaker, but ten years and a radically changed socio-political landscape in this world mean little to no updates in the new film definitely are a dealbreaker.
The story picks up ten years later as well, with the makeshift family living in relative comfort in the White House. Everyone is getting squirrelly though because otherwise there would be no movie. Eventually, Abigail Breslin’s Little Rock takes off with a boy she meets and everyone has to go get her.
There’s not a ton of plot here other than killing the zombies and making jokes at the expense of wherever they are. It’s the same schtick as the last film, pretty much literally copied. There’s nothing fresh about the perspective or even topical to today. It feels like the filmmakers wrote the film in 2009 and then when it took them ten years to make the film the only thing they changed in the script was that it’s 2019 now.
It’s almost infuriating because the film always goes for the low hanging fruit when it comes to jokes or insight. They spend time in the White House but there’s not even a joke about how the hellscape they live in might be better than the real world. There are also plenty of times when a joke or plot point will come down to "women, amirite?". As I said it feels woefully out of date in 2019.
Sure, Harrelson and Eisenberg have a strange chemistry but there’s nothing here that wasn’t explored in the first film. One bright spot though is Zoey Deutch, who plays a blonde ditz and new love interest for Eisenberg. She’s really funny but it’s all her timing and delivery, the material itself is pretty disappointing.
You may have noticed that I said "almost infuriating" two paragraphs ago and that’s because Zombieland: Double Tap commits the worst sin that a movie can commit: it’s mostly just boring.
So if you loved Zombieland my advice is to stay home and watch that again. Double Tap will only let you down.