First Hit: There are some wonderfully funny moments in this zombie spoof.
Ten years after the original Zombieland, the same characters are back, older, wiser, and ready to take on the ever-evolving zombies. To this end, the team talks about the three different types of zombies, but then they learn about the high powered zombies.
Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), Columbus (Jessie Eisenberg), Wichita (Emma Stone), and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) are still roaming the eastern part of the United States, taking what they want, living where they want, and killing all the Zombies that come their way.
The women are struggling with the men. Little Rock is feeling out of sorts because she’s running around with adults, and she would like to find people her own age. Wichita is feeling pressured by Columbus to get married. Adding to the women’s misery, Tallahassee thinks he’s the boss of this motley crew and spends most of his time tinkering with The Beast, the Gatling gun protected car.
Deciding to take residence in the White House, things come to a head. Little Rock and Wichita steal The Beast and leave a cryptic note for the men saying “so long.”
Wichita and Little Rock run into a young hippy they call Berkeley (Avan Jogia), who is a pacifist guitar-playing guy looking for Babylon. A place he says, where no guns allowed, and the compound is walled off to protect the residents from the zombies.
Columbus runs into Madison (Zoey Deutch) at a mall that he and Tallahassee are pilfering. She’s a dumb blonde who has been living in a freezer that keeps her safe from the zombies. She goes back to the White House with him and seduces him.
Little Rock leaves her sister Wichita to run off with Berkeley in search of Graceland and then maybe Babylon. Alone, Wichita comes back to the White House to ask Tallahassee and Columbus to help her find her younger sister. But as soon as she gets there, she confronts Columbus for sleeping with Madison so quickly after she had left.
Deciding to stay together, they head out to find Little Rock, fearing she’s making a mistake. The journey has them killing lots of zombies on their way to Graceland, thinking that is where Little Rock was headed. After seeing Graceland empty, they find the church of Elvis and find Nevada (Rosario Dawson) running the joint, alone. Ready to rest before heading out again, The Beast is run over and crushed by a monster truck driven by Albuquerque (Luke Wilson) and Flagstaff (Thomas Middleditch).
With Albuquerque and Flagstaff acting just like Tallahassee and Columbus, respectively, there are moments of great full-throated laughs through the one-ups-man-ship of these four guys. The back and forth is priceless.
The theme of this film is outrageous fun through gags and props. Some of the accessories are; The Beast, the suburban van, the motorhome, Babylon (pronounced by Madison as “Baby lon”), and who killed Bill Murray. Murray is shown in the opening minutes of the ending credits, stay for this. Even Elvis gets his due in this film.
Harrelson is hilarious. He uses sincere looks while going through his mood swings. But the underlying smirk of amusement and self-deprecating humor makes his performance thoroughly enjoyable. Eisenberg was excellent as the semi-cautious list-making member of this crew. Stone is terrific as Eisenberg’s love interest and older sister to Little Rock. Breslin has physically changed more than anyone of the other actors in this crew because she was very young in the original film. She carried her scenes with strength. Deutch was so much fun as the dumb blonde. She made this role work exceptionally well, and I enjoyed her as an addition to this team. Dawson was beautiful as the proprietor of the church of Elvis. Wilson and Middleditch were great as memes of Harrelson and Eisenberg respectively. The swagger of Wilson and the nerdiness of Middleditch were correctly done. Jogla, as Berkeley, the hippie, was OK. I just didn’t think he brought the same level of humor and fun to his role. Murray, in the credits, was excellent. Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick, and Dave Callahan wrote a fun script. They didn’t try to make it too close to the first film and just let the fun be expressed in this one. Ruben Fleischer did an excellent job of directing this film with a loose fun-filled feel while keeping the story logical and moving.
Overall: This film was a great follow-up to the original.