I want to start by stating that I have established a new way to sort the movies I review. I am putting the movies into 1 of 2 categories; deep cinema, or popcorn movie.
Deep Cinema films are artistc milestones that are set in the medium of film and are intended to push the medium forward. Directors of these types of films are usually works by people who have dedicated their lives to honing their craft in film and look at it as a way of expression, at least to an extent. I am not naive, however this type of film refers to directors who have notoriety and mettle in cinema.
Popcorn movies typically ride on the highest tier of the audience’s nervous system by pumping our visual and auditory sensory systems with as much adrenaline as possible. These films usually include pop culture references, thinly veiled plots, and heavy use of CGI for the purpose of spectacle rather than usefulness as a reference for future directors and film nerds. Now onto the review.
Zombieland 2: Double Tap is a Popcorn Movie
Zombieland’s original film came out in 2009 and 10 years later still has a 90% review rate on rotten tomatoes and that is no mistake. Even though the title had an oddly generic nomenclature, it’s startpowered cast and unique and zany overtones was enough to get the film to speak in it’s own voice of fun, self aware humor. The original film sported voiceovers about looney things like “The Kill of The Week” and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World esque graphics in various parts of the movie that made it feel like a clash between a live-action version of a non-existent cartoon that felt really fun. The downside of Zombieland 1 is exactly what it went all in on though with it’s looney themes, the film’s character building and plot didn’t really hold anything further than the occasional chuckle. Zombieland took a tired and overdone setting and accepted it for what it was in this day and age; a tired and generic post-apocalyptic setting with flesh eating humans everywhere. It’s clear that the makers of this film had no intention of putting this work anywhere near a classroom unless it’s on a friday and there is free pizza.
Zombieland 2: Double Tap is no different and my first impression in watching the opening scenes and credits, I felt like I was watching something that could easily fit as a household name for classic comedies. This film loosely follows one of my own favorite lessons in life which is ” Be whoever you want just own it” Zombieland 2 establishes that it’s set in a generic and overdone world and writes it’s name longhand. I liked this film for that reason. It’s core characters and their one dimensional attitudes towards the flat, and predictable love triangles and challenges thrown at them combined with oddly self aware narrations of course feel like all the makings of a throw away popcorn movie but this move does generic popcorn movie really well. The action and gore is really fun and the comedic timing of the characters hits really well at times, the plot does throw some curve balls that feel again like something out of a bad sitcom or a cartoon, but the subtext of the film owning it’s own absurdness makes it a valid watch. I enjoyed watching this movie for it’s cult classic style, and the cast once again was as good as it gets. I will say some of the narrated and funny moments in this movie are right out of a Looney Tunes short with the tipping over of the leaning tower of Piza in order to win the “Kill of the Year”. That and the new characters in this film are downright annoying especially Madison, she is so unbearably generic it feels like Barbie would have a more interesting personality.
Zombieland’s imprint is unique in that it’s taken the most low-ball, bargain bin, generic plot and character types possible and mixed them into something that fits very well as a Popcorn Movie.