Film: “Zombieland: Double Tap”; Director: Ruben Fleischer; Cast: Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, Abigail Breslin, Rosario Dawson, Zoey Deutch, Luke Wilson, Thomas Middleditch, Avan Jogia; Rating: **1/2
Designed as a road-trip film, Zombieland: Double Tap is more of a debauched comic-action drama than a horror Zombie film.
It is a sequel to the 2009 released Zombieland and it does not focus on murdering the dead or saving what is left of the world. Instead, it focuses on relationships between the characters and the underlying theme of home and family, which just happens to be during a zombie apocalypse.
In a passive mode of storytelling, breaking the fourth-wall, the film is narrated from Columbus’ (Jesse Eisenberg) point of view, one of the four last surviving humans of the 2009 zombie apocalypse, who had taken shelter in The White House, making it their comfortable home.
He tells us, that over the years the zombies have evolved and can now be classified into various categories like; Hawking, Homer, Ninja and T-800s and he tells you why.
He also tells us that to survive, one has to live by the rules. And how, he, Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), Wichita (Emma Stone) and her younger sister Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) were content with this isolated life, till he found the Hope Diamond, which he used to ask Wichita to marry him.
To his dismay, Wichita fled that very night while he was sleeping, taking along with her, her kid sister and leaving a skimpy note of apology.
A month later, he along with Tallahassee, while raiding a mall for scented candles to balance off the smell of the rotting flesh that’s all pervading the town, they bump into a dumb blond, Madison (Zoey Deutch) who they bring over to the White House.
Soon Madison falls for Columbus. Meanwhile, Wichita returns to the White House and informs them that her sister is missing. And requests their help in locating her.
The quartet then proceed to search for Little Rock. Their quest leads them on an adventurous, exciting and nerve-wrecking path. Their journey takes them to the remains of Elvis Presley’s Graceland and a refuge centre called Babylon, where a group of like-minded peaceniks maintaining a state of post-apocalyptic bliss.
As the broken family chase each other from Graceland to Babylon they discover more survivors than originally thought and also encounter numerous zombies.
The narrative is far less intelligent and leans more towards a stoner film with irreverent tone. Stone, Harrelson and Eisenberg control the narrative while the others are relegated to smaller sub plots. Not all comedy works, but a random action or one liners, hit the right note but flow freely but not too often.
The climax is chaotic, fun, but again, very perfunctory and dead-pan.
Overall, with moderate production values and run-of-the-mill aesthetics, this film may appeal only to its genre fans and for the rest of the world, this would be a lame duck.