Zombieland: Double Tap

Zombie films and TV shows have reached the point of ad nauseam, but somehow Zombieland: Double Tap manages to eke a huge amount of originality out of a now tired genre. In case you’re wondering (and it’s explained pretty well in the film), Double Tap refers to the “rule” that you always ought to finish off/confirm each zombie kill, usually by shooting the zombie a second time. And Zombieland: Double Tap is loaded with plenty of gruesome, over-the-top (often-times in hilarious slow-motion) kill scenes that are sure to appease even the biggest horror snob/gore junkie out there. If you can think up a way to kill a zombie, this movie basically has it covered. It opens up with an epic zombie kill montage set to Metallica’s “Master of Puppets.”

Zombieland: Double Tap picks up ten years after the original. Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), Wichita (Emma Stone) and the all-grown-up Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) currently occupy the now dilapidated but extremely safe (from zombies) former White House. Columbus proposes to Wichita and this causes awkwardness, so much that Wichita runs away with Little Rock. This puts Columbus in a deep depression, but he bounces out of it once he hooks up with Madison (played wonderfully by a scene stealing Zoey Deutch), who he meets in a nearby mall’s Yankee Candle store. Wichita returns to the White House to get guns after Little Rock runs away with a guitar-playing, pacifist hippie named Berkeley (hilariously played by Avan Jogia). Fearing Little Rock is in danger due to hanging out with a pacifist that doesn’t believe in guns, Tallahassee, Columbus, Wichita, and the ditzy Madison set off on a mission in a 1990s mini-van to save her.

Adding to the frustration is that the zombies have evolved over the last ten years. There’s a newer, harder to kill zombie that they call the T-800 (a reference to The Terminator!), and these zombies don’t go down easily, providing lots of laughs mixed with gore. About a half of the movie feels like it’s Elvis related. Tallahassee gives Little Rock Richard Nixon’s gun that was a gift from Presley. The gang is headed for Graceland and ends up at The Hound Dog Hotel, a dinky motel/Elvis museum where Tallahassee thrives because of his love for “The King” and where he meets his female equal, the ultimate Elvis fan, Reno (Rosario Dawson). Harrelson even croons an Elvis cover of “Burning Love” as the credits roll.

Stick around during the credits for an epic, fun-filled cameo by Bill Murray as Bill Murray! A must-see, very-entertaining-the whole-way-through movie!