It’s taken a few days for me to get to writing this and, if you’ve read the post I wrote just before this one, you already know why.
One Sunday night my wife, youngest daughter, and I went to the theater to catch Zombieland: Double Tap, the sequel to (natch) 2009’s Zombieland, a film that delightfully skewered plenty of Zombie-movie convention.
Zombieland: Double Tap (let’s refer to it as Z2 from here on out, OK?) comes ten years from the release of the original and we quickly find out what’s going on with our four protagonists of the post-Zombie apocalypse: Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), Wichita (Emma Stone), and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin).
And the answer is: Not a whole lot.
They haven’t grown much since we last saw them, though they do seem to have a little more of a family thing going on and they have relocated to the White House. Problem is that familiarity, as the cliche goes, is breeding contempt, and Little Rock, the youngest of the four, in particular is developing a strong itch to spread her wings and go out -and away- from this group.
Meanwhile Columbus and Wichita, who are together, are also having issues. Wichita seems to still like Columbus but she too feels trapped with him and the routine they’ve developed. Which makes it most unfortunate that at that point Columbus decides to propose marriage…
Wichita and Little Rock fly the coop, leaving behind the two male leads, and Columbus in particular doesn’t know how to react to this. Soon, they find another survivor and things get a little more complicated, especially when Wichita returns and states that her young sister has abandoned her as well for a (*gasp*) hippy they found along the way.
Look, anyone coming in to Z2 expecting profound/deep plot lines and/or high art should have their head examined.
Z2 is a cute, at times quite funny journey through this particular Zombie apocalypse that features some interesting cameos (but none quite as good as the one presented in the first film, even though he makes his return in this one) and adventure.
None of it is taken terribly seriously and that, unfortunately, is the movie’s main problem and one I also found with the recently released Hobbs and Shaw.
To wit: How can you make a film that is (I’m assuming here) supposed to have its moments of suspense/thrills when it is clear from the get go that the filmmakers are taking none of this very seriously?
The fact is that Z2 does build to what should be an exciting, even suspenseful ending but the filmmakers never once give us a sense of any sort of seriousness/danger, at times winking at the camera and offering jokes that are clearly breaking the proverbial fourth wall.
So we’re left with a film that is for the most part quite amusing but never really moving to that higher gear to deliver some genuine thrills.
However, unlike Hobbs and Shaw Z2 is intended to be a comedy and therefore it doesn’t bother quite as much that the thrills are missing as they were in H&S.
Still while I recommend Z2, I have to also be honest and say: “I really wish there was more to it than what we got.”
Just because you want to make a smart ass comedy (nothing wrong with that!) doesn’t mean you can’t also deliver some suspense, amiright?!