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Zombieland: Double Tap

by Noe Kamelamela
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Tuesday Dec 24, 2019
'Zombieland: Double Tap'
'Zombieland: Double Tap'  

Available digitally today!

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For fans of the original, the emergence of "Zombieland: Double Tap" is a pleasing reanimation of the original "Zombieland," with the majority of its pieces still intact as it hones in on its prey. Obligatory references to zombie movies, comics, TV shows, and stories still pepper the screen as a way to keep the audience convinced of the illusion of reality before revealing hyper gore and mind-numbing violence, while still managing to slam a couple of jokes on the head on the way. "Double Tap" provides newly disturbing images of horrific fluids and body horror, but maintains its soft, gooey center. It isn't a family film for the very young, but it is an awfully saccharine movie for a zombie movie fan.

The charismatic Tallahassee lovers Columbus and Wichita, together with Wichita's sister Little Rock, formed a family of sorts by the end of the original. Now, in the sequel, we get to see how their struggles together over the past decade have changed their unit. A lot of their main rules around survival ensured that they only stayed together as a small unit. While their version of domestic bliss still has the undead in it, the constant drudgery of killing brain-eating people and digging through the detritus of the pre-apocalypse world gets a bit mindless. Once Little Rock finally becomes a woman, she yearns to venture out into the world.

Much of the original movie's punches came when it reached directly for the audience's heart; here, most of the jokes fire up the eyes and tickle the brain. There is a lot of brilliant visual work in terms of computer-generated imagery, camera tricks, costumes, and make-up on the actors. The action sequences are presented in logical sequences. While the characters' particular foibles and eccentricities keep the non-zombie banter interesting, the death-defying scenarios continue to increase in difficulty. The pacing ambles along at an easy gait without ever breaking into a sprint. It is an effective overall formula that remains remarkably cheery, though with a veneer of grittiness that manages to poke fun at alpha male peacocking just as well effectively as it lambasts the passive-aggressive hippie dude. Every stereotype on screen has to endure a shot to the ribs, metaphorical and otherwise.

There are nice continuity notes between the first movie and this sequel, such as scenarios that present more like the levels of a video game and incidental characters that behave more like non-player characters. While there are a few jump scares, the scariest and most terrible things that happen have less to do with the freaky revenants and more to do with living people who need more than constantly killing zombies. I wouldn't recommend "Double Tap" for children in elementary school, since there is a lot of gore and sexual content, both of which are included because that is, honestly, the point of "Double Tap" - it is meant to be a strong adult movie, without being truly horrific.

Noe Kamelamela is a reader who reads everything and a writer who writes
very little.

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