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October horror movie marathon: Zombieland 2

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Before you delve into this review, be sure to take a look at the rest of the Halloween marathon!

Zombieland: Double Tap

Ten years ago, Zombieland was released and completely took the zombie genre and turned it on its head, changing the genre for the better. It also played a large part in launching the careers of Jesse Eisenberg and Emma Stone.

Ten years later, its long-awaited sequel has finally arrived in Zombieland: Double Tap with the original cast reprising their roles. 

The movie starts exactly as it should: a slow-mo zombie massacre with Metallica blaring over the top. The movie is off to a great start. It isn’t quite as impactful as For Whom The Bell Tolls but Master of Puppets still manages to get the blood pumping.

From the get-go, it’s clear that Ruben Fleischer and his team of writers are doing something new with the world they created 10 years ago, understanding that doing otherwise would do nothing for the series but keep it in a state of stagnation. So we’re introduced to a new set of zombies: Homers (lazy, dumb), Hawkings (smart), Ninjas (sneaky, clever) and T-800s (stronger, harder to kill). 

As for the story – the real area they should be keeping original – they don’t do quite as good a job, the plot being a little too similar to the original. Little Rock and Wichita run away so Columbus and Tallahassee go back on the road to find them, when they do they start over again just as they did in the first film. It isn’t a complete re-hash and there’s still a lot of originality around it that makes everything more interesting, but it’s certainly still there. It’s within the first half in which this problem truly shows. The same old thing tired and overused, the new things simply terrible (most notably the character of Madison who is simply insufferable). 

Once the gang reach Graceland and the characters played by Rosario Dawson, Luke Wilson, and Thomas Middleditch are introduced (around the midway point), it picks up and really saves the film from disaster. Both the humour and action, choreography and cinematography improve. The change in quality really is astonishing, seeming like a film of two halves. Not in the same vein as a movie like Full Metal Jacket, but more like the director quit halfway through and took the enthusiasm with him. 

What becomes of this is 45 minutes of nothing perfect, but a lot better than the first half, and the audience are grateful for it. Finally getting to see the world they left ten years ago with the same level of enjoyment. 

Zombieland: Double Tap is by no means a perfect movie, and it is certainly nowhere near the original. But the filmmakers bring just enough creativity, originality and fun to the table that fans will leave with a smile on their face.

Rating = 3/5

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