THE first Zombieland movie was an infectiously entertaining slice of comedy-horror.
Eleven years later, sequel Double Tap reunites leading quartet Woody Harrelson (Tallahassee), Emma Stone (Wichita), Jesse Eisenberg (Columbus) and Abigail Breslin (Little Rock).
Also back – fresh from helming the pretty dismal Venom – is director Ruben Fleischer and the feeling of familiarity results in more of the same, which will satisfy devotees but fail to convert new fans.
The zombies themselves have received an upgrade with stealthy “ninjas” and Terminator-aping “T-800s” proving more of a threat to our heroes.
I also liked how this follow-up is set a decade on from the original and not just an instant storyline continuation as we get to see how the world has decayed since the start of the apocalypse.
The lead foursome continue to share an easy chemistry but Harrelson gobbles up all the best lines and Eisenberg’s eccentric shtick – including more of Columbus’ rules for survival – is getting a little old.
New cast additions make mixed impressions; Rosario Dawson (Nevada) just exists to give Tallahassee a love interest while Zoey Deutch’s Madison is an engaging Mean Girls wannabe so not cut out for apocalyptic combat and Avan Jogia’s (Berkeley) hippie poser catches Little Rock’s eye.
The first film didn’t have much of a plot but it chugged along nicely thanks to its freshness, zombies on steroids and the cast’s charisma; though cramming in more personalities and subplots, writers Dave Callaham, Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick should’ve focused more on the original’s stars and developed their characters further.
Double Tap raises some smiles and keeps the attention but lacks the biting barbs and vibrant vigour of its predecessor.
●How does Zombieland: Double Tap compare to the first film?
Senga MacLean was a fan of Joker, saying: “It was so well made. [Joaquin] Phoenix was outstanding.
“The excitement grew when he dyed his hair green; his moves, his skinny, freaky frame were just brilliant. And when he danced down the steps at the end it was like the start of something amazing.”
●Zombieland: Double Tap is showing on Sky Cinema Premiere from next week.