Almost exactly ten years after the release of the original film, ZOMBIELAND: DOUBLE TAP takes us back to a world ravaged by the undead. The original cast is back in action, as Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, Woody Harrelson, and Abigail Breslin return to play a makeshift family trying to stay alive amid the zombie hordes. DOUBLE TAP opens on October 18. For a more immersive experience, see it in D-BOX. Read on to learn more!
A decade is a long time between trips to ZOMBIELAND. If your recollection of the original movie is fuzzy, we’re here to recap the film and look to the future of ZOMBIELAND: DOUBLE TAP. Hope you brought extra ammo. (Note: Full spoilers follow for the original ZOMBIELAND but we won't give away anything about the sequel that isn't in trailers.)
How did the zombie outbreak happen, anyway? Carelessness. A bad fast food cheeseburger gave someone mad cow disease, which mutated into “the plague of the 21st century," killing almost everyone in North America. Our protagonist and narrator is Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), a neurotic college student from Austin, Texas. He survived the zombie apocalypse by adhering to a set of rules. Examples include "Check the back seat," "limber up," and, of course, "double-tap," by which Columbus means that putting a second bullet in any zombie is always a good idea.
The tattered remnants of society can be impersonal. Our hero runs across a gruff and dangerous guy played by Woody Harrelson. This road warrior refuses to reveal his name, to avoid creating any sense of personal attachment. So their destinations, Columbus and Tallahassee, become code names.
In an abandoned grocery store, they meet con artists Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin), who are making their way towards Pacific Playland, an amusement park outside of Los Angeles that is rumored to be zombie-free. Despite a difficult "getting to know you" period, the four people gradually form a little post-apocalyptic family. As Columbus notes, “we were all orphans in Zombieland.”
The first ZOMBIELAND is an episodic journey across America, which makes sense when you realize that the script was initially written as the pilot for a TV series. That means the film has time for digressions, and to reveal its characters through some weird and funny situations. And it has one of the greatest horror/comedy scenes of all time, thanks to a surprising cameo.
While rolling through Los Angeles, our intrepid crew takes shelter in Bill Murray's house. The choice is Tallahassee's call, and there's no reason to expect that the actor will actually be there. When Murray emerges, looking very much like a zombie, Wichita whacks him with a golf club. Turns out that Murray never stopped acting; he only dresses up as a zombie to blend in with the hordes. “Six people left in the world and one of them is Bill Murray!” Tallahassee exclaims.
What follows is basically bliss for the traveling characters. Murray shares a bong with the survivors and even does some Ghostbusters cosplay. Things don't end well, however, as Columbus shoots and kills Bill, mistaking him for a zombie. “Do you have any regrets?” Little Rock asks. “GARFIELD, maybe,” Murray deadpans. (Emphasis on "dead.")
After the Bill Murray episode, Wichita and Little Rock eventually abandon Columbus and Tallahassee. They head for the theme park which is, naturally, soon overrun with zombies. This inspires a rescue attempt by Columbus and Tallahassee, who cut through waves of zombies and turn multiple theme park attractions into instruments of death. (One particularly fun moment involves Columbus attempting to lose the zombie horde while inside a carnival-style haunted house.) Columbus discovers the value of heroism and, yes, Tallahassee finally gets his Twinkie. Victory!
The very first shot of ZOMBIELAND showed the White House, as narration from Columbus brought us up to speed on the state of the nation following the apocalypse. Ten years later, the sequel opens with the characters having taken refuge in that very same White House. They run riot and go a bit stir crazy in the abandoned halls. Little Rock is now a rebellious young adult; Tallahassee thirsts for adventure; and Columbus and Wichita have settled into a romantic rut. When Little Rock heads back out on the road with the hippie boy Berkley (Avan Jogia), the rest of the makeshift family goes after her.
Berkley isn't the only new guy. Albuquerque (Luke Wilson) and his neurotic sidekick Flagstaff (Thomas Middleditch) look a bit familiar, reminding us of a good gag from SHAUN OF THE DEAD. There's also the ditzy Madison (Zoey Deutch), who seems to both annoy Wichita and make her a bit jealous, and tough-as-nails Nevada (Rosario Dawson). All of these actors seem right at home in Zombieland.
ZOMBIELAND: DOUBLE TAP promises even more mayhem and comedy than the first film. For an experience that amps up the level of sensory input, see the film in one of our D-BOX theatres. These employ state-of-the-art technology to create hyper-realistic, immersive, experiences that pull you right into the story. Whether Tallahassee and Columbus are cruising around on Segways or Nevada is scattering zombies by doing donuts in a monster truck, the cinematic motion of D-BOX is harmonized with events in the film to create the ultimate movie upgrade.
Since the intensity of D-BOX motion is user-controlled, you can tailor the experience to your own tastes. You can, for example, dial in the level of motion response when Oscar-winner Emma Stone fires a grenade launcher at the undead — you just can't control the ravaging hordes of zombies. Click here for D-BOX locations near you!
All images courtesy of Sony Pictures.