Zombieland: Double Tap
Ten years is a long time between sequels, so long that I barely remember the original “Zombieland” in 2009. I do recall enjoying the performances, and humor, but the gore, not so much. Speaking of gore, there’s a whole lot of it, courtesy of the zombies, very early in the movie during a narrated recap to bring you up to date on the zombie apocalypse.
It’s not necessary to have seen “Zombieland,” to enjoy “Double Tap.” It is necessary to enjoy the “Deadpool” movies, as “Double Tap” is written by the “Deadpool” team and is basically “Deadpool” with zombies, or as I call it “UnDeadpool.”
The movie is set 10 years after the original, as Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), Wichita (Emma Stone) and her sister Little Rock (Abigail Breslin), have settled into life at the of course, abandoned, White House. Columbus and Wichita are still a couple, there’s not much zombie action, and it’s a pretty cool place to live. But Little Rock is grown-up now and wants to find other people her age. Eventually the sisters split, leaving Columbus sad, but not sad enough to stop him from hooking up with a ditzy blonde named Madison (Zoey Deutch) who is living at the local mall.
When Wichita returns, informing the guys that Little Rock has split for Graceland with a hippie musician from Berkeley, the gang, accompanied by Madison, hit the road to find them.
Of course, that road is loaded with zombies. Columbus, who as in the first movie, provides a good bit of the humor with his many rules about dealing with zombies, now clues us in about the different types of zombies, handy information if you ever experience your own zombie invasion. He, Tallahssee and Wichita show off their mad zombie-killing skills in several scenes which I would share with you, had I opened my eyes to watch. Spoiler alert: It’s pretty gross.
Their search for Little Rock brings them to Graceland, which is, to put it mildly, a disappointment for Elvis fan Tallahassee. They encounter the ridiculously cool Nevada (Rosario Dawson), and a couple of other zombie hunters, before heading to a pacifist commune and a major confrontation with the zombies.
As in “Deadpool,” “Double Tap” has a lot of humor, and laugh-out-loud moments. Harrelson especially seems to be having a great time, and as always is fun to watch. Emma Stone delivers her lines in a sly, casual style, and Eisenberg, who can be annoying on screen, is kind of adorably geeky. But it’s Deutch who steals every scene she is in, making the absolute most of her stereotype Valley Girl, and adding a needed touch of lightness.
While I prefer my movies with fewer exploding heads,“Zombieland: Double Tap,” (R for violence and language) had enough humor, smart dialogue and sharp performances to keep me entertained. There’s also a very fun scene during the end credits that you won’t want to miss.
Zombieland: Double Tap - 3.5 Stars out of 5
Steven Soderbergh, the director of “Traffic,” “Oceans 11,” “Magic Mike,” “Erin Brokovich” etc., has partnered with Netflix for his latest film, and it’s available to watch now. “The Laundromat” is about the Panama Papers, shell companies, crooked lawyers, and a regular gal played by Meryl Streep. It jumps from New York to California, China, Las Vegas, Mexico and some place called Nevis and introduces so many characters and so much plot, I couldn’t explain it if I wanted to, but here it goes.
The crooked lawyers, Jürgen Mossack (Gary Oldman with a distractingly-heavy German accent) and Ramón Fonseca (Antonio Banderas), run a firm that helps wealthy people all over the world dodge taxes, hide their money and much worse. Their dealings trickle down to affect Ellen Martin (Streep) and other families reeling from a tragic (and true) boating accident in New York. They are also connected to her losing a condo she really wants, but I’m pretty sure that was just an excuse to find a role for Sharon Stone who plays her Realtor. A lot of bad men and one very bad woman, do very bad things that only rich people could get away with, until someone causes a massive data breach that brings down the lawyers, politicians, celebrities and rich people. Then Meryl Streep delivers a speech as Meryl Streep and we all get angry because the 1% still aren’t paying taxes.
While the cast is terrific, I can’t help but compare “The Laundromat” to “The Big Short,” the 2015 film that did a much better job breaking the fourth wall and juggling storylines in detailing the mortgage housing crisis in the mid-2000s, winning a much-deserved adapted screenplay Oscar. “The Laundromat” is more scattered than successful and ultimately, confusing and frustrating. But there are zero exploding zombies, so that’s something.
The Laundromat - 2.5 Stars out of 5