Zombieland: Double Tap review: The real monster is 2009-era misogyny

Something is rotten within the state of Zombieland. In the opening monologue of Zombieland: Double Tap, Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) wonders why anybody would present up for a sequel a full decade later. The self-awareness is humorous, however, just like the movie itself, it’s the comedy equal of a long-deceased buddy rising from the lifeless; you need there to nonetheless be some inkling of the individual you knew, however 10 years of decomposition didn’t do them any favors.

The sequel, directed by Venom’s Ruben Fleischer, sees the unique quartet from 2009 — Columbus, Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), Wichita (Emma Stone), and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) — having fun with the zombie apocalypse model of home bliss. The peace doesn’t final lengthy. Little Rock needs to satisfy folks her personal age, and Wichita will get spooked by Columbus’ marriage proposal. The two of them bolt, just for Little Rock to go away Wichita within the mud when a man her age (Avan Jogia) seems with information of a commune of individuals their age who’ve forsaken using weapons.

With a very robust new breed of zombie on the rise, it falls to Columbus, Tallahassee, and Wichita to get Little Rock again, although the group dynamic is put underneath a bit of pressure by the addition of Madison (Zoey Deutch), who Columbus shacks up with after believing Wichita to be gone. Double Tap needs to be a enjoyable trip — the entire forged are charming sufficient that simply watching them hang around would a minimum of be a bit of entertaining — however if you happen to really feel a creeping, uncomfortable sensation crawling up your backbone as they flip zombie after zombie into bloody pulp, it’s not simply due to the considered impending doom. The film, zippy because it is, homes the type of misogyny that went out of favor across the time the primary film got here out.


Madison (Zoey Deutch) joins the gang on a deserted highway.

A new quarter.
Sony Pictures

Deutch’s complete dedication to the a part of air-headed blonde nearly saves the position, however the diploma to which the script (written by Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick, and Dave Callaham) appears to resent each her and Wichita drags the entire enterprise down. Every feminine character — together with Rosario Dawson as Nevada, who runs an Elvis-themed motel — exists to be a love curiosity, fulfilling both the “emotionally unavailable cool girl” or “sexually available hot girl” trope. What’s worse is that the Madonna-whore dichotomy is used as a weapon; Madison and Wichita are pit in opposition to one another, with Wichita made out to be a killjoy for being unsure about dedication and Madison a meaningless fling for being sexually liberated.

Neither can win, and each are thrown underneath the bus — although nobody is extra trampled and mistreated than Madison, who is the butt of just about each joke. In the 12 months of our Lord 2019, I stored anticipating there to be a flip, for Madison to disclose some sudden expertise, or for her and Wichita to recover from their shared relations with an in the end type of “eh” man, however no go. Zombieland: Double Tap is firmly caught in 2009, antiquated gender politics and all. And that’s to not point out a belabored scene by which a driveway is used as a metaphor for Nevada’s nether areas.


Tallahassee (Harrelson), dressed as Elvis, faces off with Albuquerque (Luke Wilson).

Doppelgängers face off.
Sony Pictures

Those dynamics really feel rotten given how entertaining the remainder of the movie could be. Deutch appears to be having enjoyable regardless of the whole lot, and Harrelson turns his hambone comedian chops as much as eleven as he kicks and screams his manner by the wasteland, even briefly dressing up as Elvis. Luke Wilson and Thomas Middleditch have some apparent enjoyable, too, as doppelgängers for Tallahassee and Columbus who present up midway by the film to trigger a bit of chaos.

A demented remaining (or mid-credits) scene which capitalizes on the most important movie star cameo within the first film is the cherry on high of the very bitter cake. Set throughout a press junket, it casts movie critics because the enemy, successfully defying anybody who dares to criticise its shallow humorousness. The scene additionally makes it clear that Double Tap doesn’t have something to present that wasn’t within the unique film, which I’m now afraid to revisit lest it grow to be as unhealthy because the sequel it spawned.

Zombieland: Double Tap hits theaters this weekend.

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