In 2009, Zombieland rocked the world. Featuring, at the time, an unknown cast and a satirical take on the zombie phenomenon that that was so prevalent at the time, the movie has since become a cult classic that you could quote to almost anyone and they’d understand where it’s from. However, ten years later the sequel has come out and now a lot of people are wondering: What took them so long, and is it too late?
Zombieland: Double Tap takes place in real-time, which means that over the ten years since we last saw them, the same ten years have transpired for our heroes—Columbus (Jessie Eisenberg), Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), Witchita (Emma Stone) and the now-adult Little Rock (Abigail Breslin)—leaving them stranded in Zombieland. Little Rock, having spent her tween years fighting off the horde of undead, is now feeling restrained by her new family and runs off with a new character, Berkely (Avan Jogia). The remaining members of the dysfunctional family set out to track her down and bring her home. That’s about as far as this peice can get without spoiling anything.
The plot sounds pretty standard, and honestly it really is. But then again, the original Zombieland has a plot that is pretty by-the-book as well. So what exactly is wrong with wanting the follow-up to be just as simple? In theory, nothing. Back when the original Zombieland came out ten years ago, simple sequels were common; however, since then the entire movie industry seems to have been built on intertwining movies. And while that did happen a decade ago (most notably with the Harry Potter and James Bond series) nothing was quite on the level of say the modern-day MCU.
On top of the plot predictability, the zombie theme was all the rage back in 2009. You couldn’t walk ten feet without seeing a book or game or form of entertainment that would sprinkle some zombies in there. To paraphrase commentary contemporary with the original Zombieland by Yahtzee Croshaw of Zero Punctuation fame, “Zombies fulfill the same role in pop culture as salt does on a dinner table. There is literally nothing they won’t sprinkle zombies on in order to get more attention.”
Nowadays zombies are certainly still around, but can you look at me straight in the eyes and say that zombies are anywhere near as prevalent as they were back in the late 2000s and early 2010s? Many would laugh in your face if you tried to argue any degree of modern prevalence. The only really popular zombie productions that are still around are The Walking Dead (which this movie does take an admittedly humorous jab at) and Resident Evil, although the latter franchise has been stretching the definition of “zombie” more and more with each sequel.
So with that in mind, does the Zombieland franchise have a modern purpose with zombie media falling further and further from the spotlight? Quite frankly, yes! While zombies aren’t as rampant now as they were back in the late 2000s and early 2010s, they still provide a lot of opportunities for social commentary if given the right creative mind. Zombieland: Double Tap has all that in spades! Despite withholding a lot of analysis here to avoid any spoilers, there is plenty of social commentary in this movie—some of it subtle and some unashamedly not subtle at all. Even other movie goers think this has held up, with one in particular mentioning in an interview right out of the theater, “I don’t like that we had to wait ten years, but I think the movie’s great! I’m glad we got it at all.”
Overall, Zombieland: Double Tap is not a perfect movie but it is still an enjoyable journey through blood-soaked fields. If you enjoyed the first movie, I think you’ll enjoy this one a lot as well. Is it as good as the first movie? No, but it’s still a very humorous adventure that most people will enjoy.
Zombieland: Double-tap is playing in theaters now and holds a 68% on rotten tomatoes.