Time sure flies when you’re trying to outrun the undead! It’s been ten years since we first went to Zombieland with apocalypse survivors Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), Wichita (Emma Stone) and her kid sister Little Rock (Abigail Breslin). As you might imagine, things have changed in the sequel Zombieland: Double Tap (Sony / Columbia). For one, the zombies have evolved. They run the gamut from Homers (named for Homer Simpson for being stupid) to Ninjas (known for their stealth). A new iteration, nicknamed the T-800 by Columbus for their Terminator-like determination and near indestructibility, is also roaming the earth.
Some things have stayed the same. Columbus and Wichita are still an item. Tallahassee is still the de facto ringleader. But Little Rock has done the most growing up and longs to leave the nest and seek out peers her own age.
The first stop on the fearless foursome’s road trip is the White House. Once there, they settle into their version of domesticity. But change is in the air. Wichita turns down Columbus’ marriage proposal (made with the Hope Diamond, no less) and then splits with Little Rock. Thinking some retail therapy might be the cure, Columbus and Tallahassee head for what remains of a shopping mall. While there, they encounter not-as-ditzy-as-she-appears survivor Madison (a hilarious Zoey Deutsch). The lovelorn Columbus invites her back to the White House and you can guess what happens next.
What you probably didn’t see coming is the return of a solo Wichita after Little Rock took off with hot hippie musician Berkeley (Avan Jogia) and headed for Graceland. On the road again, in a humiliating Pontiac Trans Sport, Tallahassee, Columbus, Wichita, and newbie Madison head for Memphis, battling zombies along the way and going for the ZKOTY (Zombie Kill of the Year). Along the way, Madison takes sick in what is thought to be a zombie transformation and Columbus is tasked with putting her out of her misery.
As luck would have it, Little Rock and Berkeley aren’t at Graceland when they get there, but neither is Graceland. At the nearby Hound Dog Hotel, which doubles as an Elvis shrine, they meet proprietor Nevada (Rosario Dawson), who tells them that Little Rock and Berkeley didn’t stay long and are headed to a commune known as Babylon. Before they hit the road again, they meet Albuquerque (Luke Wilson) and Flagstaff (Thomas Middleditch), who are essentially western versions of Tallahassee and Columbus, respectively. This segment contains some of the funniest scenes in the movie.
Suffice to say, Zombieland: Double Tap has almost as many surprises as it does zombies (and that’s a lot). Revealing anything more would be tantamount to spoiler treason. Almost as inventive and funny as its predecessor, Zombieland: Double Tap still gives us plenty to laugh about. Additionally, the kooky and cartoony violence is ratcheted up considerably. One of the more successful sequels in recent memory, Zombieland: Double Tap is the perfect movie for your Halloween date night.
Gregg Shapiro is the author of Fifty Degrees (Seven Kitchens, 2016), selected by Ching-In Chen as co-winner of the Robin Becker Chapbook Prize. Other books by Shapiro include the short story collections How to Whistle (Lethe Press, 2016) and Lincoln Avenue (Squares and Rebels Press, 2014), the chapbook GREGG SHAPIRO: 77 (Souvenir Spoon Press, 2012), and the poetry collection Protection (Gival Press, 2008).
He has work forthcoming in the anthology Reading Queer: Poetry in a Time of Chaos (Anhinga Press, 2018). An entertainment journalist, whose interviews and reviews run in a variety of regional LGBT and mainstream publications and websites, Shapiro lives in Fort Lauderdale, Florida with his husband Rick and their dog Coco.