Woody Harrelson and Rosario Dawson in Zombieland: Double Tap.
Woody Harrelson and Rosario Dawson in Zombieland: Double Tap.

Is Zombieland’s sequel a step too far?

DID they really need to go and make a sequel to the 2009 comedy thriller Zombieland? No, they, did not.

Have they gone and made a decent fist of that sequel anyway? Yes, in the case of Zombieland: Double Tap indeed they have.

If you remember the original at all, it will still be fondly, if kind of vaguely. No crime in having a hazy memory on this front.

Let's be frank: a helluva lot of zombie-ness has passed through the collective consciousness in the last decade.

Anyway, the most important factor in play here is that most of the original cast has returned to active duty.

When you're talking names such as Emma Stone, Jesse Eisenberg and Woody Harrelson - all bigger names now than they were back then - a diminished team sheet would have guaranteed a diminished movie.

Not so here. Though a slight notch down from its predecessor, Double Tap goes about its undead and up-to-something business the right way from go to whoa.

The plot picks up with the zombie apocalypse that swept America still very much a happening thing.

The uninfected survivors of the last movie are now holed up inside what's left of the White House, protected only by some highly improvised, but decidedly effective anti-zombie security systems.

The formerly uncommitted couple Columbus (Eisenberg) and Wichita (Stone) are now boyfriend and girlfriend.

For a short while, at least, until an inopportune marriage proposal sees Wichita make a run for it with her antsy little sister Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) as back-up.

These unplanned personnel changes do not sit well with the elder statesman of the crew, Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson). Sudden change in a time of prolonged apocalypse is not a good thing, he reasons, and the breakaway move by Wichita and Little Rock could hasten the demise of everyone on his watch.

Forced to ditch the wastelands of Washington for the badlands of Memphis - where Elvis Presley's mansion Graceland is all that passes for civilisation in the whole of the nation - Tallahassee and his crew must fight against, run from or inventively take aim at new strains of harder-to-kill zombies.

Like the first Zombieland, a killer sense of humour syncs up very effectively with a kill count that sometimes needs to be taken seriously to buy into the dire predicament people are facing here.

There is also some demented delight to be taken from the supporting ranks, which include Rosario Dawson, Luke Wilson and a scene-stealing Zoey Deutch.




Director: Reuben Fleischer (Zombieland)

Starring: Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, Jesse Eisenberg, Abigail Breslin, Zoey Deutch.

Rating: ***

Undead on the money