Zombieland: Double Tap (2019)

Film reviews are a weird concept. Not entirely similar to film criticism, yet it can’t be entirely different. You can write hundreds of words reviewing a film, yet they really only need a question and a one-word answer: Should I watch this movie? yes/no. That’s all it boils down to. And with this, the answer is yes, with a but. If you liked the first one (as I did, I loved it in fact. One of my favourite zombie movies), you’ll like this, if you disliked it, this won’t change your mind on the franchise. It has some issues of course. The Abigail Breslin sub-plot is essential to the progression of the film, in fact, it’s pretty essential to everything in the film happening, but that doesn’t mean it’s exciting. The dullest parts are the film are when it’s focusing on her story arc. I’m not sure why, I think it’s because out of all the new characters introduced, the one in that section is the most boring. Not only because he’s a pacifist (this film is known for having great zombie deaths, and his pacifism pretty much tells you that is not going to happen in his moments) but also because it’s sorely underdeveloped. You don’t get much information on how he’s managed to survive this long, whether he’s always been like that or not. There could have been a really interesting back story where he was happily killing zombies and in a moment of madness killed someone who it turned out wasn’t a zombie. That would have solved the issue of not having any kills and it would have made the character more compelling.

Another issue is at times it feels like the characters are still getting to know each other, the character relationships don’t feel like they’ve all been together for 10 years. There’s almost zero development from the end of the last film to the beginning of this one. Nothing has happened off-screen in terms of how they treat each other, and it’s a bit weird and makes you realise these aren’t real people, they’re characters in a movie.

There’s a moment at the start where they introduce three new kinds of zombies (Ninjas, Homers, and Hawkings), these classifications don’t end up meaning much in the end and are really only there to set up another classification later in the film. We get a few Homers (really stupid zombies) in the film, but I feel we don’t get enough Hawkings (very smart ones) or Ninjas (silent and quick). That could have been used to set up some good horror scenes, and it’s a shame that it feels like they didn’t really use them.

Now onto the plus side; the chemistry between the cast is still great and is a great example of a studio taking advantage of catching lightning in a bottle in terms of actors. When you have something like that it can be a mistake to bring a new person in. It’s why I was slightly concerned with how heavily featured Zoey Deutch was in the trailers, especially as her character seemed pretty one-note and like her main reason to exist was to drive the plot forward by putting them in danger with her stupidity. Thankfully she slots in beautifully. Plus she’s not stupid, not really. She would have been 14 when the zombie outbreak occurred, so most of her formative years were spent hiding in a freezer. As such she’s stuck in a state of arrested development alongside long-term isolation (the film hints that she was at the same place the infection started, so she has been in the same place, alone, for 10 years). Her character meshes well with the other characters too, allowing them to get some great comedic lines in. Rosario Dawson also slots in brilliantly, albeit for nowhere near as long.

So to answer the question about whether you should see it, you definitely should. It’s exactly what you think it is, and exactly what it needs to be. It even features an opening scene set to Metallica like the first one. Now if another one is made, lets hope it’s not 10 years later again. Oh, and make sure you stay for the mid-credits scene where Bill Murray kills zombies whilst just walking around being Bill Murray.

Films That Should’ve Been Made In A Different Medium

Now I’m not saying these films shouldn’t have been made. Just it would be nice if they got made in different mediums.

1. The Boat That Rocked

What It Should Have Been: A TV Series.

The two main complaints people had about this film were that it was too long and had a disjointed plot. Both of these problems would’ve been solved if it was a TV series instead of a film. Would it have got the same cast though? I like to think it would’ve done. It’s a mostly British cast and the British attitude seems to be “you’re never too big for TV”. And plus imagine the end; after weeks and weeks with these characters when the boat is sinking at the end it would bring a tear to your eye. The many plots could have an episode each but the underlying plots would be A) Carl trying to find his father. B) The closing of the station. And probably would be a good idea to lose the slightly rapey scene in it, that was majorly uncomfortable to watch and had no place in it.

2. Zombieland

Zombieland

 

What It Should Have Been: A Comic

This film was basically a comic anyway; and it would’ve been nice to see what would’ve become of it if budget wasn’t a factor. Then maybe have a film based on the comic so Jesse Eisenberg can be in a comic book adaptation that doesn’t suck.

3. Unbreakable.

What It Should Have Been: A book.

Some things are more acceptable in books such as films. Many of which are present in this film. It has a great plot and terrific build up but it’s just not suited to cinema. As a book however it would have been fantastic. The trouble is is that it is a really average film if you take away the twist, you have to finish watching it to like it, there’s nothing in it that keeps you watching whilst you are watching it. As such if you get interrupted halfway through it, you’re not likely to come back to it. Alternatively you take this film and condense it into an hour-long TV show, make it the pilot episode of a new series.

4. The Final Destination.

What It Should Have Been: Video Game

The film was, well it was just silly. And not in a good way. I think it would’ve been silly in a good way if the first few films in the series weren’t so serious. After the those this seemed practically childish by comparison. By this point I it would have been smarter to franchise this into other mediums. I mean; picture this film as a video game, not a top-level full price one, but a small downloadable one on xbox live or something: you control death and have to set needlessly complex traps to kill people. The more complex, violent and deadly, the more points. Once you get a certain amount of points you can get upgrades to kill people more efficiently (explosions etc). Actually I want that game now. Or, just have Telltale make it; you play as one of the characters avoiding death. The advantage of that is that it would be REALLY easy to market and gain interest: you release a quick demo online with a random title; you control a teenager investigating the death of his/her friend. Standard Tell-Tale stuff, but at the end of the level; you die via a series of convoluted accidents, and the game reveals it’s a Final Destination one.

 

I also was going to have: Fant4stic should have been; a muffin basket, because anything would have been better than that film. But then I realised if that film was a muffin basket, it would probably poison people.