Zombieland: Double Tap

Zombieland: Double Tap ★★½

ADDED TO “OCTOBER HORROR WATCHES” AND "2019 RANKED" :) 

Quickly recaptures the vibe and charisma of its 10-year old predecessor but crucially lacks the momentum or sincerity (you can tell the writers have been making Deadpool movies in between), feeling sleighter and snarkier as a result. Things flow fairly smoothly for a solid forty minutes or so, and I was having a good time as a result, but the film is brought to a screeching halt by a baffling scene of gross-out darkness that totally throws off the levity and leaves a feeling of ickiness in its wake. It’s a shockingly misjudged development and (despite a late-in-the-game reversal) the final half never fully recovers, starting to feel less like a movie and more like a thinly-connected series of SNL skits (a quality shared by the original, just not as messily). The only notable improvements are Ruben Fleischer’s action and horror beats, which were blandly perfunctory in 2009 but considerably more inventive here, with the highlights being a zippy one-take brawl, the visually witty “Hawking zombie” interlude and a hysterical mid-credits scene that almost redeemed the entire experience for me. It’s a delightful cameo totally worth sticking around for... just don’t expect to remember the 90 minutes of mediocrity that came beforehand. 5/10 

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