There have been many films released in the zombie genre in the last several decades, but none quite like Zombieland, which was a beautiful blend of comedy, action, and horror. Zombieland: Double Tap arrived this year ten years after the original, with rather mixed feelings from fans.
Since a sequel was something out of the blue, some viewers believe it didn’t live up to the legacy set by it predecessor, while others argue there were a lot of improvements. We think both sides of the argument are fair, and have brought you five points each in favor of the original Zombieland and the sequel.
10 Sequel: Expanding The Universe
Sure, the first part did have the characters going across the road to different places, but the sequel took it a step further by showing numerous people and how the world has coped after the zombie apocalypse.
The first installment still had everything at the beginning of zombies taking over, so it was nice to see how the survivors had made their way now that this kind of living was the norm. The sequel didn’t fixate on the idea of the zombies; rather, it was about how humans now live around this fact, which was a more engaging angle to follow.
9 Original: It Was A Lot Fresher
It’s extremely difficult to improve upon sequels, and we’ve seen very few movies that are follow-ups and better than the original idea. Double Tap just couldn’t match the feeling of originality the first movie gave us, which is still a better option for an all-round experience.
The second movie has a lot of elements that feel a bit like a rehash of the original, while other points weren’t as strong as the first movie gave us. There’s definitely the feeling that you could get a similar experience like Double Tap without feeling like the same stuff has been tread before if you simply watch the first part.
8 Sequel: A Diverse Cast
With the rise of diversity within the last decade that has seen great casts in films such as Aladdin in recent times, Zombieland: Double Tap did around the same by bringing in people from different backgrounds.
We’re not even talking just about ethnicity here either; we mean people from different mindsets too, such as the character of Madison, who was a stereotypical “dumb” blonde but got to have a shining role in this film. This kind of out-of-the-box presentation was a nice touch to offer in the setting of the zombie apocalypse.
7 Original: Characters Were More Likable
You can give the benefit of the doubt to characters in first films of franchises, where the justification is that they’re still finding out what their true characterizations are. However, Zombieland: Double Tap didn’t improve upon the few flaws in its characters from the first film, and the sequel had these people be rather unlikable frequently.
This is why the original would be a better venture for those want to have a likable set of characters, as each person’s flaws are part of the journey as they try to figure out what they mean to one another. This kind of trait is more charming than frustrating, the latter of which we got in the sequel.
6 Sequel: Furthering Character Relationships
Although there were annoying plots like problems with Wichita and Columbus’ relationship, or Little Rock and Tallahassee’s issues, the flip side was that there was a payoff for these angles in the end. You might be on the fence about whether it was worth checking out these issues, but they did develop the characters further.
For instance, Tallahassee grew into more than a person who was grieving his son and wanted to eat Twinkies, as his relationship with Little Rock was expanded upon rather than having them be chummy for no real reason. Similarly, we at least got to know if Wichita and Columbus’ relationship was meant to last.
5 Original: The Finale Was Memorable
Zombieland had such a healthy pace that you wouldn’t have realized we’d reached the climax when we did get to that point, but the film succeeded in having the ending be an explosive finale. The amusement park scene was hyped throughout the story, and the payoff was worth it.
From the comedy to the tension and to the action, you could find everything in the climactic showdown with the zombies where every main character had a valid contribution to make. Along with that, the ending had enough ambiguity that we were happy in making up our own minds as to what happened to these characters in the future.
4 Sequel: Tallahassee Getting A Love Interest
One of the most interesting parts of Tallahassee’s character was the knowledge of him having lost his son during the zombie apocalypse, but this was only ever touched upon in the first film and his main storyline was him wanting Twinkies.
A major change was needed for him, which we got from the sequel where Tallahassee landed a love interest for himself. This gave him an additional layer of character, as we got to see how this guy functions when he has more to worry about than candies. And with a solid character to complement Tallahasee's love angle, this was one of the finer points of Double Tap.
3 Original: The Sisters Had A Better Role
These girls weren’t nearly as scary as some other characters from different zombie media, but they had that con artist feel to them in the first movie where we were both impressed and wary of them. Unfortunately, the sequel mellowed them down quite considerably.
For this reason, it’s far better to check them out in the original film, where you get Little Rock and Wichita at their best as they fight zombies and dupe people. Since Little Rock was actually little in this film, the sisters had that older-younger dynamic really working here as well.
2 Sequel: More Jokes
We’re still not certain if having quantity over quality is better, but there’s no denying that Double Tap easily had more jokes in it than the first Zombieland. Some of these gags were hit-and-a-miss, but there were still enough to go around for fans to pick and choose their best.
Tallahassee, in particular, had some of the best moments as he took a bigger comedic turn this time round, and we can’t forget Madison who was one of the funniest (if a little annoying) characters to follow in the sequel.
1 Original: That Bill Murray Cameo
Weirdly enough, Bill Murray’s cameo in the first Zombieland that got the most press. It was a scene no-one expected, which effectively made it all the more hilarious as we saw Bill dress up as a zombie and foolishly get killed by Columbus.
It’s one of the most memorable cameos you’ll ever find in any film; the sequel followed through as well with another cameo, but it wasn’t nearly as great. After all, it was the subtleties in the first gag that made it so funny, with nobody ever forgetting Bill muttering “Garfield, maybe” as his greatest regret.