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Non-Review Review: Zombieland – Double Tap

“Time to nut up or shut up,” reflects veteran zombie hunter Tallahassee as a horde of the undead make their way across the front lawn of the Elvis-themed motel where he has taken up residence. His doppelganger, Albuquerque, responds derisively, “Isn’t that phrase a little 2009?”

It is more than “a little” 2009. Then again, Zombieland: Double Tap is more than a little 2009. The film is the latest in a line of long-delayed sequels, including Deadwood: The Movie, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, Toy Story 4 and Rambo: Last Blood. It feels as if the studios are rushing through their development slate as the end of the decade approaches, frantically trying to check off any potential sequels and spin-offs that might have been gestating. This is all a little strange, given that Zombieland was itself a modest critical and commercial hit, and hardly a film crying out for a sequel that has been a decade in the making.

“Tonight were going to party like it’s 2009.”

Double Tap feels rooted in 2009, for better and for worse. It is great to see this cast reassembled, as if the intervening decade had never happened. Part of the appeal of Zombieland was the combination of an apocalyptic horror with a low-key hangout comedy, and that is dependent on cast chemistry. The years have not altered that. However, there’s also an awkwardness to the film, a sense in which it hasn’t managed to keep pace with times. A few of its jokes feel curiously dated, but it also seems strangely disengaged from any shifting cultural trends over the past decade.

The result is a movie that is as solid and charming as the original film, but which occasionally feels like it is running in place. Double Tap is easy and entertaining, but never quite gets the blood flowing.

Columbus’ Day.

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The Walking Dead, Vol. 1 (Hardcover)

The best part of The Walking Dead is the premise, brilliantly summed up by Robert Kirkman in his afterword: why do zombie movies end? The answer is quite logical, as he concedes, in that people don’t want to spend their life in a cinema watching 24-hour zombie movies. Okay, most people don’t want to do that. Somewhat forshadowing the recent announcement we’d be getting a Walking Dead television series (from Frank Darabont, director of The Shawshank Redemption and The Mist, no less), Kirkman argues that comics and television are the only media that can truly support a longterm continuous narrative. What happens after your favourite zombie film ends? It’s an interesting premise to be sure. It’s just a shame that the initial twelve issues of the series don’t quite live up to it.

Better off red?

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