Soy Cute Sequel
The White House no longer has relevance in Zombieland: Double Tap’s world. A decade on from the outbreak, it’s empty except for the main characters in this (now) series. They hang out, argue over who is president, and generally trash the place. It’s a fine location to host this comical fantasy where differing personalities sarcastically spar over the best way to survive.
In Zombieland, the debate concerned masculinity. Tough guy Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) butted against the shy, humble Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg). For the sequel, the concept broadens into a generational feud. Where the main crew found violence a necessity, there’s another camp now, younger, who melt down guns, sing Kumbaya by a fire, and compare themselves to Ghandi. That goes as well as expected.
With its final thesis, Zombieland: Double Tap settles on some violence being inherently needed. Like, piloting a monster truck and drifting through piles of undead. Creative violence – that’s the good stuff to Zombieland.
Zombieland: Double Tap mocks tough guy attitudes
Zombieland: Double Tap mocks tough guy attitudes
While continually hunting for plot, the sequel boxes in these characters. They deal with relationships, isolation, and arrogance. Inserting a few newcomers keeps conflict going, particularly a ditzy blonde played by Zoey Deutch; she sends out endless quips laced with idiocy. Through her, Zombieland: Double Tap mocks tough guy attitudes; if she can survive in this wasteland, how hard can this be? Maybe the guys just want to puff their chests a bit while holding shotguns.
That’s clever, both in keeping Zombieland: Double Tap’s humor flowing and colliding with the themes. Plus, it’s a zombie story – dispatching these things furthers the film’s creative juices. More than headshots and other gunplay, the gruesomeness brings dark humor to the front. Memorable slaughter doesn’t end.
Undeniably, the script reuses the formula. The end to this sequel again finds the heroes under assault by a swarm. Instead of Tallahassee alone, now it’s the entire squad. That’s a change. Sort of, anyway. If the only consideration is whether Zombieland: Double Tap keeps gags coming, then this is an absolute success. No matter familiarity, kitschy kills don’t lose their spunk. Still to come afterward is a mid-credits sequence so delightfully perfect as to render the complaints moot anyway. Maybe those closing moments cover some critical complaints, but make the whole thing worthwhile.
After this, maybe IMAX needs to reconsider that “IMAX Enhanced” stamp. Zombieland: Double Tap is not helping the brand. In multiple ways, this presentation steers toward the ugly tree. Bizarre noise slips into the imagery, primarily over the women’s faces, while the rest looks clean. A chunk of noise just hovers on their heads, and sticks as they move. Watch Emma Stone as she converses with Eisenberg early on in the White House. That’s only one example.
An odd shot at 57:50 looks as if shot in SD, with odd pixelation and aliasing. Maybe the effects were left incomplete. That aside, sharpening plays a part, giving numerous scenes an unnatural, edgy look. This bumps into an overly bland, soft 2K upscale elsewhere, begging for greater definition. Detail fails to impress.
Worth praising? The HDR pass. Brightness is given opportunities, from Harrelson welding and sending out sparks, to neon lights at a hotel, plus a fireworks display at night. Those push extremes, and suitably so. Black levels perform their counter, dense with attention to shadow detail. Muted color doesn’t always show by design, although the peace camp is coated in primaries. That looks fantastic.
In DTS:X, there’s energy to this mix. Fireworks burst overheard, and in an Elvis hotel, a piano in the background swings through the soundstage as the camera moves around. Pinpoint gunshot placement keeps activity high during action scenes. Zombie snarls make their way through as needed. When they mass, each channel picks up the action.
LFE support struggles a bit. A building collapse needs tightness (it’s too puffy on impact) and shotguns lack force (or rather, enough force). For the finale, a sizable explosion generates a rumble, but a monster truck’s engines barely register.
For whatever reason, Sony includes a :30 second promo on the UHD. It’s not worth dealing with Sony’s still awful UHD menus to see it, more so because it’s on the Blu-ray too. Director Reuben Fleischer’s commentary is also on both as he tells of the production.
On the Blu-ray only, a mildly funny blooper reel is followed by nine deleted scenes. Seven featurettes come next, a few minutes long each, with only one worth watching on the post-credits cameo.
Zombieland: Double Tap
Lacking in plot and sticking to formula, Zombieland: Double Tap overcomes those issues through humor and gory flair.
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