Barrett Brief Movie Review- Zombieland Double Tap: Bullseye

Written by on 10/18/2019

Zombieland Double Tap: Bullseye

Summary: Still in Zombieland 10 years later, Columbus, Tallahassee, Wichita, and Little Rock move to the American heartland. Where they face off against evolved zombies, fellow survivors, and the growing pains of the snarky makeshift family.

Genre: ActionComedyHorror

When looking at sequels in the history of film, most are at best forgettable. Furthermore, most are just cash grabs. When looking at the traits that a good sequel follows, I like to key in on the following: 

  • Do not just remake the original
  • The movie has to have a reason to exist
  • Give the characters a purpose for being there
  • Respect your core
  • Embrace the world that was built

In fact, it is because of these factors that I can firmly say the following things: 1) This movie should not exist 2) It shouldn’t be this good. 

The old Core

Straightaway, the primary reason that a sequel should exist is to further the story of the characters that we enjoyed watching last time. Many times sequels are so worried that the audience will be bored with the returning cast that random things will be thrown in to “spice things up”. However, these fail more often than not, because it is an insult to the audience. Regardless, Zombieland: Double Tap does not fall into this trap. The four original leads Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), Wichita (Emma Stone), Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) & Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) all return with a goals & motivations. There is organic conflict that one could see happening when you spend an insane amount of time with the same people. Although, one of the plots between Columbus & Wichita does start off with promise. However, it is almost completely forgotten through the third act and is resolved magically. Despite that minor flaw, the cast was just as funny as back in 2009 and don’t miss a beat. 

The new recruits 

For fear that the audience will be bored by the same characters that brought them back to the theater, most sequels fail here. Even if they have a solid story and decent reason to exist, new supporting characters are introduced can either A) be annoying or B) take over the film. Niether of these things is desired by the audience. In general, Zombieland: Double Tap, avoids this. This is accomplished by only giving three new additions, Madison (Zoey Deutch), Nevada (Rosario Dawson) & Berkeley (Avan Jogia) as foils to our protagonists. I didn’t write many notes on this film. The most prominent one was “Madison=win”. For fear that I am going to spoil main points of the film I will not mention some of the funniest moments. However, I can say to you that while her character looks annoying in trailers, she plays off our core 4 perfectly. In fact, my audience couldn’t get enough of her, and that includes the wife. In addition, Nevada helps Tallahassee is a welcome addition & Berkeley is the closest thing we get to a foil.  The part with Luke Wilson & Thomas Middleditch is a wash. For one thing the shtick in the trailer gets old fast. In spite of that, they do contribute to one of the most adrenaline inducing set-pieces in the film. 

New attractions are worth the wait 

Must be remembered that in a sequel our core needs to do something new! Notwithstanding, the people in La, La Land have a track record of hitting copy+paste in their fear of a box office bomb. In particular within the comedy genre, where many films struggle with repeating the same gags they know the audience enjoyed the last go around. Zomebieland, despite MANY callbacks (one that the entire audience erupted at) doesn’t cross the line. Since the new situations that are characters face are completely different from part 1, the audience gets to experience the journey along with our core. Somethings that were introduced (new evolved zombies) didn’t really pan out, but you are have such a good time you don’t really notice until after. This story respects our core, introduces characters that help drive the story and gives our “heroes” a purpose for being there. 

Overall:

With the respect shown to the core characters as well as the introduction an expansion of the world it built in the first film, Zombielands: Double Tap’s new attractions were worth the wait. 

Score: 4 Briefcases out of 5 

 

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