Early reactions are in for Zombieland: Double Tap, and it sounds like the zombie-action-comedy sequel is familiar, but still enjoyable. The original Zombieland hit theaters ten years ago and was led by a cast that included then up-and-comers Jesse Eisenberg, Abigail Breslin, and Emma Stone, in addition to Woody Harrelson (who had already been a name actor for more than two decades, thanks to his role on Cheers in the '80s).
Double Tap picks up in real-time after its predecessor, with formed family members Columbus (Eisenberg), Wichita (Stone), Tallahassee (Harrelson), and Little Rock (Breslin) still making their way together through the post-zombie apocalypse American heartland. The Double Tap trailers have already introduced the film's new characters, which include hard-edged survivalist Nevada (Rosario Dawson), kind but dim-witted Madison (Zoey Deutch), and Columbus and Tallahassee's "doppelgängers", Albuquerque (Luke Wilson) and Flagstaff (Thomas Middleditch). Even Bill Murray (as himself) is back in some capacity, as evidenced by his appearance in the Double Tap red band preview.
If Murray returning after his surprise cameo/death in the first Zombieland seems like a bid to tap into audiences' nostalgia for the original movie, then it appears to be reflective of Double Tap overall, judging by the early reactions. For more on that, check out the tweets from various film critics and journalists embedded below.
Fell for Columbus, Tallahassee, Wichita & Little Rock big time in 2009 & it's an utter delight reuniting with them 10 years later. #Zombieland2 feels a bit like the 1st film all over again but you know what? It's still super effective. Had a blast & can't wait to watch it again. pic.twitter.com/bvoX2LjEL1— Perri Nemiratu (@PNemiroff) October 11, 2019
Zombieland: Double Tap is a bloody blast. This long awaited sequel is well worth the 10 year wait. A twisted blend of comedy & horror with bigger & badder zombies.The entire cast is great but Zoey Deutch as Madison steals every scene & is the film’s MVP. #Zombieland2 #DoubleTap pic.twitter.com/7XcVZ1CGsE— Scott Menzel (@TheOtherScottM) October 11, 2019
#Zombieland2 is a nostalgic trip back to 2009 despite being set in 2019 and the ten years haven't updated its sense of humour. The fresh faces of Zoey Deutch and Rosario Dawson bring a welcome new dynamic to the group. If you loved the first you'll be satisfied with the sequel. pic.twitter.com/yhtmroWOZ2— Digital Spy (@digitalspy) October 11, 2019
#Zombieland #DoubleTap is like a time machine to 2009. I loved it. If you loved the first movie, you’ll love this one. It’s hilarious.— Brandon Davis (@BrandonDavisBD) October 11, 2019
The original cast has the same magic and the newcomers only add to the fun. It’s an absolute blast. pic.twitter.com/AHmqBuKHKA
Glad to say I can finally share my #ZombielandDoubleTap reaction. If you loved the first movie, rest assured that this is a worthy sequel and the zombie action is 🔥🔥🔥! I had so much fun with it and can't wait to watch it again next week. Review coming on Wednesday. @Zombieland pic.twitter.com/uk7RwNUj5n— Josh Wilding (@Josh_Wilding) October 11, 2019
Quick #Zombieland2 non spoiler review. The movie is a lot of fun definitely more comedic. The new additional cast didn’t overbear the original cast lThere’s a mid credits and after credits like Marvel movies. Will have a full review later tonight.— NukemDukem (@NukemDukemz) October 11, 2019
Judging by these reactions, the chemistry among Zombieland's main cast remains just as crackling in Double Tap, and the sequel's four newcomers (especially Dawson and Deutch) make for pleasant additions to the franchise. At the same time, they suggest Double Tap is more than a little similar to the original movie, story-wise, and doesn't try to break fresh ground so much as give audiences more of what they adored about its predecessor, but in heavier doses. That's more or less the same approach that Zombieland series writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick took with their script for last year's Deadpool 2, and it mostly went over well with critics and general audiences.
For the same reason, it sounds like Double Tap should please those who loved the first Zombieland and have spent the last decade eagerly waiting for the followup. All the same, Double Tap will probably struggle to have the same impact (cultural or commercial) as its predecessor, if only because it's arriving well after the zombie genre peaked in popularity - as opposed to the original film, which premiered just as the zombie craze was really heating up. Still, if Zombieland: Double Tap performs better than expected, then who knows: the cast may yet return for Zombieland 3 in 2029.
Source: Various [see the above links]
- Zombieland: Double Tap/Zombieland 2 (2019) release date: Oct 18, 2019