Zombieland: Double Tap (3 stars)

Zombieland: Double Tap

Emma Stone and co reunite for this familiar follow-up to the hit comedy horror

It's been a decade since Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Abigail Breslin and a pre-mega stardom Emma Stone kicked some serious undead ass as the wisecracking post-apocalypse survivors in Zombieland. Since then, the zom-com has become commonplace, while The Walking Dead has done its brutal best to insist that zombies are no laughing matter. With so much rotting flesh in the ring, is there really a need for a reprise?

That question hovers over the film, as everything feels just too familiar – from Eisenberg's voiceover, as the geeky Columbus welcomes us 'back for seconds' and runs through the newest zombie categories (the dimmer than usual 'Homer', the atypically smart 'Hawking') to the blithe way in which the quartet dispense with monsters and the frictions of their dysfunctional, thrown-together family. For a time, it feels like the only reason we're here is so that the stars can enjoy a reunion.

But, ever so slowly, the charm of the original – its carefree mix of sardonic repartee, inventive sight gags, horror spoof and legitimate action – begins to exert its hold all over again. As do the cast, particularly Harrelson's goofily macho, Elvis-loving Tallahassee and Stone's wry, sexy Wichita.

One does wonder what Wichita would see in the neurotic Columbus; though, admittedly, there aren't that many people in this world who can still walk and talk. It's their faltering relationship and the desire of Breslin's Little Rock for a boy of her own that drives the narrative and leads the quartet from The White House to Graceland and into the waiting arms of a new breed of super-zombie.

While the jokes have become a little tired (especially Columbus's rules for surviving Zombieland), the action sequences keep it lively and the characterisations are endearing. And anyone who misses Bill Murray from the original should stick around for the end credits.

General release from Fri 18 Oct.

Zombieland: Double Tap

  • 3 stars
  • 2019
  • US
  • 1h 39min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Ruben Fleischer
  • Cast: Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Abigail Breslin, Emma Stone, Rosario Dawson, Zoey Deutch, Luke Wilson
  • UK release: 18 October 2019

Tallahassee (Harrelson), Wichita (Stone), Columbus (Eisenberg) and Little Rock (Breslin) are ‘back for seconds’ as Columbus acknowledges in a voiceover. At first it seems a bit familiar, but the charm of the original slowly takes over: the action sequences are lively and the characters are as endearing as ever.