While I was excited for a sequel to this zombie comedy, I was cautiously optimistic about it coming together.  Comedy sequels in particular almost never hit the mark and it can be tough after a decade or two for actors to find that familiar rhythm again.  Fortunately that wasn’t a problem for this franchise.

Director Ruben Fleischer returns to inflict mortal terror on our unsuspecting crew of survivors, Columbus(Jesse Eisenberg), Tallahassee(Wood Harrelson), Little Rock(Abigail Breslin), and Wichita(Emma Stone). It’s been ten years since our last encounter with this group and they are all still alive somehow.  After an abrupt decision is made, they end up separated and come across new characters, and more zombies, in the process.  One of which is Madison(Zoey Deutch), a happy-go-lucky girl who finds the positive in any situation.  Her appearance drives a wedge between Columbus and Wichita, leading to hilarious moments on the road.

We learn about different kinds of evolved zombies and how to fight them.  We are reintroduced to all the various rules that Columbus created in order to survive, which are a character unto themselves.  The rules often have a way of complimenting the comedy, especially when they are visibly displayed in certain scenes.  We learn about a group of pacifists who shun violence and, against all odds, maintain a peaceful existence in their commune.  Honestly the plot is pretty thin, but that’s not the point of these movies.  The real entertainment factor is the chemistry between these four characters and their interactions with strangers on the road.  Another character to highlight is Nevada, played by Rosario Dawson.  Nevada is a fearless woman who can handle her way around a weapon.  It’s pretty much a prerequisite now.  She’s a fun addition to the cast and adds an extra dimension to the overall film.

The zombie genre has grown considerably over the last ten years.  While Zombieland at the time seemed fresh, a nice American counterpart to Shaun of the Dead, its appearance today is one of more of the same.  The Incredibles 2 had the same issue being a superhero sequel with the burden of 15 years worth of other superhero movies that preceded it.  The Walking Dead actually premiered the year after Zombieland came out and is still going.  Other zombie shows have come and gone as well as interesting zombie films.

So what makes Zombieland: Double Tap stand out among the crowd? I believe it is its unique style of comedy.  It’s a bit off-kilter and absurd at times.  You’re never quite sure how the action scenes are going to play out and they sometimes end with a good laugh.  Also I’d put the chemistry of this group of actors in the win column.  When they engage in conversation, in whatever vehicle they happen to be riding in, I enjoy every minute of it.  Some of the humor seems repetitive, but its delivered by very talented individuals.  I give extra kudos to Zoey Deutch and Woody Harrelson for really making the comedy moments work.

Zombieland:Double Tap has some rough edges, but it’s a welcome return to an apocalypse you don’t mind being a part of.  There are other actors I could mention, but I think it would be more fun for you to find them out for yourself.  The story barely sustains the 99 minute runtime, but it wraps itself up pretty well and you get a decent amount of laughs in just about every scene.  Stay during the credits.  You won’t be disappointed.