Zombieland Doble Tap

"Zombieland: Double Tap" released into theaters Oct. 18.

“Zombieland: Double Tap” is a worthy continuation that seamlessly recreates the comedic energy of its predecessor.

The sequel to the 2009 fan favorite might appear dated, but it finds no difficulty in recapturing the spirit and comedy of the first film. With a commanding performance from one of its new characters and evolved relationships that reinvigorate interest in these characters, “Double Tap” proves to once more be a bizarre and refreshing take on the classic zombie wasteland.

Continuing the events of the first film, the ragtag group of Tallahassee, Columbus, Wichita and Little Rock fight for survival in a desolate America plagued by a zombie outbreak. Despite recently coasting through the dangers of the world, the team’s bond is strengthened.

Picking up precisely 10 years after the events of the first film, “Double Tap” doesn’t seem to lose a beat when it comes to recreating the energy and laughs of the first film. The movie feels similar to its predecessor with its comedic strength and timing without simply recycling jokes. The film continues to play on the bizarre action introduced in the last movie and is able to elevate it to a higher and more outlandish level. A top-notch performance once more grounds each of the four main characters, despite the limited growth the film gives them. Out of the four, the relationship between Tallahassee and Little Rock proves to be the most exciting aspect of the film. It’s a relationship that grounds the story within its obscure world and goes to show how close these characters have grown in the past 10 years.

However, it is newcomer Zoey Deutch that proves to be the scene-stealing character out of the new and returning cast. Deutch’s Madison provides a hilarious, albeit stereotypical, kind of comedy that dramatically differs from everyone else in the movie. Deutch can separate the film from the similarities of the first, creating tension between Jesse Eisenberg and Emma Stone that allows for Madison to shine. Madison is a character that could quickly come across as annoying, but Deutch is able to convey the character’s profound stupidity in a way that almost always draws a laugh.

Given how coherent of a transition there is between the first movie and “Double Tap,” there is an overlaying sense of concern that the sequel may be too similar to the previous film. Although characters and comedic moments do seem to be near replicants from the first film, “Double Tap” is more interested in what has changed in the 10 years since the first movie. The movie does still feel thoroughly connected to the first, as character attitudes and behaviors maintain a consistency between the two films.

“Zombieland: Double Tap” is a worthy successor to the first film that still works well given the significant delay. The film once more brings comedic and witty moments, as the cast navigates a desolate world that provides rich and endearing laughs. Though each cast member delivers a strong performance, a scene-stealing Deutch elevates the movie. Fans of the first film will no doubt enjoy the consistent tone and comedy, as the film can stand equal to the first in its own right.

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