Until the cinema reopens, ESP’s film critic Gavin Miller is at home reviewing the offerings on the small screen instead…
This sequel to 2009’s critically-acclaimed ‘undead comedy’ Zombieland still hits the spot – despite seemingly being cobbled together as a quick ‘pay day’ for the cast.
Without too much in the way of a ‘fleshed-out’ storyline, this follow-up is more Zombieland 1.5 than a full-on sequel, as we revisit survivors Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) ten years after the events of the first film.
We see the foursome take out new evolving zombies – now with multiple attack personalities such as ‘Homer’, ‘Hawkings’ and ‘Ninja’ – in a more gruesome fashion, as they now call the derelict White House their home.
But when Little Rock leaves in search of Graceland as she meets hippy ‘pacifist’ Berkeley (Avan Jogia) – and Columbus and Wichita’s relationship hits the rocks when ditzy blonde Madison (Zoey Deutch) stumbles across him in a nearby mall – the crew get back on the road to try and track her down.
What this leads to is a very flimsy story that is definitely more ‘style over substance’ as quick quips and one-liners – which are generally plentiful between Harrelson and Eisenberg’s on-screen chemistry – keep it adrift throughout its fairly short runtime.
Cameos from the likes of Luke Wilson and Thomas Middleditch’s duo (who strongly resemble Tallahassee and Columbus) and Rosario Dawson’s motel owner Nevada, prove to be worthwhile distractions, as the ‘ultimate’ zombies – dubbed the ‘T-800’ from the Terminator franchise due to its ‘harder-to-kill’ abilities – prove to be a more difficult problem to overcome. Particularly when they reach a hippy commune called Babylon and all the team’s weapons have been seized.
This does lead to a great ‘Donkey Kong’ one-liner from Harrelson when he throws a barrel down the stairs of a tower block at clamouring zombies – which just about sums the film up as a padded out sketch of multiple mini comedy sequences.
That isn’t a bad thing, but it’s almost like the stars have just re-teamed for some TV holiday special – and just decided to make a movie out of it.
Which leaves this as a quick-fire comedy fix that won’t linger in the memory for too long.
ESP Rating: 3/5
Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, Abigail Breslin, Rosario Dawson, Zoey Deutch, Luke Wilson, Avan Jogia, Thomas Middleditch & Bill Murray
Running Time: 1 Hr 39 Mins
Director: Ruben Fleischer