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'Zombieland: Double Tap' reunites undead-slaying gang for zany romp

Phil on Film
Posted at 9:53 PM, Oct 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-18 11:19:27-04

A decade after "Zombieland" mocked the oversaturated zombie genre for a goofy, spree, the sequel rises from the grave to splatter the screen with more bloody chuckles.

The time off has served the series well. In 2009, you couldn't walk into a theater without tripping over a movie with a supporting cast full of animated corpses. Now, save for the likes of "The Walking Dead" series on TV, the zombie era has passed, and returning to the gallows humor of "Zombieland" boasts a nostalgic bite.

Woody Harrelson leads the tight-knit band of mortal survivors who have taken up residence in the White House. The tough-talking, Southern-fried man's man is the braun. Egghead Jesse Eisenberg is the brains ans sassy Emma Stone is the wildcard.

Abigail Breslin is the youngster of the group who yearns to bust out of the veil of safety and see the big, bad world -- even if it means risking getting chased around by demonic flesh.

There's not much going for the film other than familiar faces and witty writing, but that happens to be just enough to make the return trip to Zombieland worthwhile. The dysfunctional family dynamics dole out ample laughs, the battle scenes are clever and unpredictable, and most importantly, the overall tone is joyous and satisfying.

Injecting some momentum into the mix are the fresh faces of Zoey Deutch as a note-perfect ditz and Rosario Dawson as a grizzled loner. Both of them pop in and out of the fray, shaking up the dynamic to keep things lively and vibrant.

As strong as the cast is, it's the dialogue that shines the brightest. Characters routinely break the fourth wall, crack self-aware one-liners and incessantly mock each other, their brains-craving enemies and the bleak world in which they live.

The plot may be as thin and loose as rotting flesh, but the point is to blow off steam in an easygoing goof, and "Zombieland: Double Tap" hammers away at its mark. There's still plenty of life in these old, crusty bones.

RATING: 3 stars out of 4.

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