Tonight in Zombieland

Zombieland 2: Land of the Zombies, a BFG Trailer Review

Ten years after the first road trip, the gang is back to face faster, stronger zombies and new human survivors in the upcoming sequel Zombieland 2: Double Tap. I’m one of many fans who’ve been clamoring for a sequel to the black comedy cult hit–and i’m starting to think i should have been careful what I asked for.

The trailer reheats and plunks the best parts of the first movie in front of us again. One exactly-replicated shot from the first movie shows Tallahassee kicking down a door and repeating the much-loved line, “It’s time to nut up or shut up!” You see more of the characters taking out zombies in slow-motion, gleefully horsing around, and wrecking expensive important stuff, except instead of Bill Murray’s house, it’s the White House. 

 

This references the political reality of 2009 when the first movie came out, the same year we inaugurated Barack Obama President. The apocalypse has frozen the survivors in a time where a giant HOPE poster still hangs on the wall and Donald Trump never became commander in chief. As a crass, Twinkie-loving Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) props his feet on the presidential desk in the oval office and says “I think I woulda made a damn fine president,” Emma Stone’s Wichita tells him sarcastically, “you would have brought a real dignity to the office.” Hmmm.

They get back on the road and run into a dippy blonde in a pink sweatsuit who talks like a drunk five-year old and makes a Paul Blart joke, and that’s before she hits her head on something. Fingers weakly crossed for a Carrie-caliber pivot or a sly plot twist, but for now she’s just a sexual counterpoint to Wichita’s black leather/heavy eyeliner badassery. I really hope I don’t have to watch these women compete totally realistically for Jesse Eisenberg’s attention.

The gang is on a mission to save Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) who ran off with Berkeley, the Bad No-Good Hippie Boyfriend with a Spanish-y goatee and a baggie full of what looks like sawdust but the film portrays  as desirable weed. In this scene, if you listen carefully, you can hear the sound of the writers brainstorming a coming-of-age storyline. Pot! Boyfriend with long hair! Running away!   

Then Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) and Tallahassee meet their doppelgangers and things get really crazy, maybe like in Parent Trap! I really, really want this to be a clever plot point and not lazy writing. I love Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, who penned the first Zombieland and both Deadpool films, and Deadpool 2 did a great job of re-introducing familiar patterns of humor while riffing on new characters and situations.

Fresh off the zombie comedy The Dead Don’t Die, and apparently discovering his professional wheelhouse in his sunset years, Bill Murray will reprise his eponymous role, and Rosario Dawson will revisit her Sin City/Grindhouse characters as tough zombie assassin Nevada. And of course there will be lots of gore, fireballs, big guns and hordes of reanimated corpses that get squished and blown apart in creatively CGI’d ways.

Will Tallahassee learn to replicate the recipe for Twinkies? Will they ever meet someone who didn’t come from a big-name city, someone named Turlock or Grygla? Do zombies clog grain-harvester machines? Find out when “Zombieland 2: Double Tap” hits theaters on October 19.

Rachel Llewellyn

Rachel Llewellyn is a saucy media mercenary who's worked at Curve Magazine and Girlfriends Magazine in San Francisco, and ghost-edited two noir novels. She's also translated academic material, written corporate website content, taught adult school, and produced morning television news. Rachel lives in Bakersfield, California, where she hikes with her dog and pushes paper in the government sector.

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