Movie Review: Zombieland 2 Double Tap (2019)

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Summary: Columbus, Tallahassee, Wichita, and Little Rock move to the American heartland as they face off against evolved zombies, fellow survivors, and the growing pains of the snarky makeshift family.
There is a mid-credits scene and an end credits scene.
Pros:
Cast and Characters.
  • Woody Harrelson as Tallahassee. He is basically the dad in the group lol, he does his own thing. He loves cars, guns, killing zombies and in this movie ELVIS. His relationship with Columbus is the same, they’re a bit antagonistic, mostly Tall to Columbus they trust each other. They are aware of each other’s strengths and weaknesses and work well together. He gets a lot of chances in this movie to be funny, to show how awesome he is, and Woody Harrelson is great! He’s so likable even when he’s being rude.
  • Jesse Eisenberg as Columbus. Of course, you can say that Eisenberg always plays himself and maybe he does but it works for him and I like it. It was great seeing him in a movie where he’s just having fun. Columbus is a bit neurotic, but it works for him. He’s stayed alive all this time! In this, they’re all living in the white house and he and Wichita are still together. He has ideas and plans for the future and is a little upset and sarcastic when things don’t go his way, but he has every right to be how he is lol. I totally get him. I love Columbus because he’s just awkward, sweet and weird but just like everyone else, very capable.
  • Abigail Breslin as Little Rock. Wichita’s rebellious younger sister and she’s the reason why the movie happens pretty much. Her and Wichita run off and then she runs off from her sister and is just stupid lol. She’s a young adult and wants everyone to know she’s not a little kid anymore and wants to find people her own age, she feels trapped in the “kid” role and she doesn’t want that. She also is sick of the Zombieland life. Whenever we see her, she’s with Berkeley and she’s enamored because he’s cute and her age and finally! Other people who aren’t zombies! She was a little annoying and kind of stupid, but she pulls through at the end. I think her relationship with Tallahassee is cute and I totally get her reasonings but come on man, you’re in a Zombieland. Can’t be stupid.
  • Emma Stone as Wichita. Emma Stone is always a win. Wichita is the same as she was in the first one, a bit hardened and sarcastic and she still has an issue with commitment or feeling trapped in a role. She knows how to handle herself but is very protective of her younger sister as well. Her and Columbus have a cute relationship and it’s funny because he’s so weird and she’s so cool. They also have great chemistry. I like her interactions with Madison because they are so different, but I think it’s clear Emma Watson just has fun in this role, she gets to be sassy, as per usual, but she’s more of a rude sassy than her quirky sassy lol.
  • Rosario Dawson as Nevada. She joins the movie a little later, but she runs the Hound Dog Elvis motel and she’s awesome. Rosario is always awesome. She is very similar to Tallahassee in her personality but she’s much cooler than him. She’s badass and comes through in the clutch later in the film.
  • Zoey Deutch as Madison. We meet Madison at a mall and Columbus almost shoots her because she just appeared out of nowhere. But she’s a dumb blonde and that’s her joke throughout the movie and I’m perfectly fine with that. It’s hilarious to me. I’ve never seen Deutch play a role like this before and I quite enjoyed it. It worked for her, she’s funny.
Supporting Characters. We have some supporting characters we meet, some last throughout the movie and others are just cameos. Avan Jogia as Berkeley, Luke Wilson as Albuquerque and Thomas Middleditch as Flagstaff. Avan Jogia was basically a hippie type character. He was pretty annoying lol, but it worked for him. He still cute. Luke Wilson and Thomas Middleditch are basically the same, of Columbus and Tallahassee in how they look and act. It’s supposed to be a funny interaction and I think it was. It worked for me.
For Fans of the First One. I think it’s a given that if you loved the first one then you’ll probably love this one. This one manages to be a continuation of the cult classic Zombieland but also managing to remain fresh and feel like seeing the first one for the first time again. The characters have returned and are as we left them, just older with different people problems, not to mention, new people and zombie problems.
It’s funny. I laughed throughout the movie. Humor is subjective, as I always say whenever I mention the humor in a movie, but I laughed a lot. I also had a nice crowd in my theater so there was a lot of laughter. I think the line delivery really works for a lot of the sarcasm and these actors have a knack for being funny without trying to come off funny. Zoey Deutch’s Madison really was a scene-stealer whenever she was on screen and I really enjoyed her. It was my first time seeing her like that and she got a lot of laughs from me and the audience. Of course, Harrelson, Eisenberg and Stone work well together. Not to mention, the cameo from Luke Wilson and Thomas Middleditch was great too. Great funny scene. Also, Tallahassee’s entire Black Foot thing, like bruh what? lol
Awesome action sequences. Just like in the first, this one has great action scenes with the zombies. Of course, we get an opening narration with Columbus narrating and we get a nice introduction to our characters and the zombies at the White House. Great scene. Then later, the scene near the RV was awesome. Shows just how badass Wichita and Tallahassee are. The scene in the Hound Dog Hotel was great! And of course, the battle at the end had some high moments too.
High Stakes. I think this movie really showcases some high stakes in that Little Rock runs off with some Hippie and everyone is worried about her, not to mention, the zombies have evolved and are better hunters and harder to kill. Plus, people are turning around them left and right lol, I was stressed out watching this movie because I was worried about how many people were going to make it to the end. I think the movie does a good job in making those stakes feel important and make you think that they’re going to kill people you care about. The entire last act of the film was one big tense but awesome sequence.
Cons:
A Real Story? Meh. In ways, the first one is kind of like this, but it feels like a series of events more than a singular movie. I know that Zombieland was supposed to be a television series before the movie and after the movie but never seemed to make it there.  I think even here, it seems like it could have been a show with how much it feels like characters go from place to place, meet new people and things happen. I find this to be very noticeable and it breaks up the flow of the film a bit.
Ending Battle. I think overall, it was okay. The entire movie is leading up to this final battle where our main four must show they’re awesome and save a bunch of other people and while the first part of the battle was great, the monster truck stuff was great, it didn’t end with the same tension or awesomeness as the first part.
Overall, I loved the first one, so I had hopes that while this one won’t be as good, I’ll love it too and true words. It’s great! It’s almost just as good as the first one because it has the same energy and feeling as the first one did, we’re just more comfortable in this world since we’ve already been introduced to it. I think it allows for viewers to just dive right back in and you don’t feel like you’ve missed anything. All the characters are still great, the returning ones we know and love, are still hilarious and work so well as a family even with their issues. The actors are having fun and they’re all great. The new characters, no matter how small or large the roles, also are great. There isn’t anyone we meet that I dislike, who are important characters. What we learn about zombie evolution is super cool and the movie is funny and it’s a fun adventure with high stakes. However, there isn’t much of a story, I mean it’s there but it’s not a focal point. Also, the end battle was underwhelming. With everything else we got beforehand, the climax fizzles. But the movie fun and if you like the first one, I’d imagine you’d also like this one.
Rating: 3.7 out of 5 stars. Honestly, I would give this a higher score for pure entertainment value, but I think this is fair.
Have you seen Zombieland 2: Double Tap? What are your thoughts?
What is your favorite zombie movie?
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Movie Review: Now You See Me 2

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I have to say, I’ve been excited for this movie ever since the sequel was announced. I thoroughly enjoyed the first one and while it’s not the best movie out there, it’s definitely a thrill ride and an enjoyable experience. If you have seen the movie and agree, please share your thoughts in the comments below, if you don’t agree, please feel free to do the same. Short review, just some thoughts.
Summary: The Four Horsemen return in this sequel with new tricks, new plans, new thrills and reveals. They’ve been in hiding for a year and now a new villain has come to force them to use their “Robin Hood” like tricks to help him get what he wants.
Pros:
  • The Cast and Characters. The main characters/cast have some great chemistry. It seems as if they’ve been working together for a time, at least enough to know and understand each other’s tricks. However, there is also plenty about each other they don’t know, they’ve only know each other for maybe three years now. Then you have Dylan who is the “fifth” Horseman who is a leader/father like figure who seems to still be on the outside in a way.
    • Jesse Eisenberg as J. Daniel Atlas. Atlas is a control freak and arrogant illusionist. In this movie he is searching for validation. In the first movie, he was more or less the “leader” of the Horsemen and now with Dylan in the picture, he struggles with not being the one to lead as well as being kept in the dark.  I really like Eisenberg period, and I think his “schtick” works well for this character. The little things he does with his fingers, the eye twitch, it’s almost like if Atlas didn’t find his passion in magic, he would be a crazy person.
    • Woody Harrelson as Merritt McKinney. A hypnotist, mentalist, and a self-proclaimed psychic. He is also the oldest of the group but he is charismatic, funny. In this film, Merritt doesn’t seem to be as confident as he was in the first. Harrelson also plays the twin brother of Merritt which was still so weird but he definitely made them two different people. I can’t say that Merritt had much of a development here, at least nothing memorable. There is more learned about what happened to him that placed him where he was in the first but I can’t say it did anything for him in the end.
    • Dave Franco as Jack Wilder. A sleight of hand illusionist, street magician, and a talented impressionist of other people’s voices. He is also a pickpocket, and is able to pick locks. He is my favorite and I feel like his character got the short end of the stick in the first movie, his death was of course faked but still! His part is a bit larger in this movie but still not enough. In my head canon he grew up on the streets, he looked up to Atlas with his magic but once he got to meet him, he still admired him but felt like the little kid and that they treated him like a child. In this movie, he seems to have shifted his admiration to Dylan, who he also seems to view as a “father figure” which infuriates Atlas. Jack still wants to be viewed as an adult and to stop being sidelined (I want that for him too lol) and throughout the movie, it seems like he tries to assert his presence but the script doesn’t let him.
    • Lizzy Caplan as Lula May. An illusionist, has a thing for Jack. She is funny, often speaks out about being the “female Horseman” and talks a lot. Lula was a nice addition to the movie, she was more developed with a personality than Henley was which is a plus. I enjoyed her but it’s understandable if she’s found annoying.
    • Mark Ruffalo as Dylan Rhodes. Revealed to be the son of Lionel Shrike from the first film. He is still an FBI agent and uses his resources to throw the FBI off of the Horsemen’s trail even if they have been dark for a year. He is their “leader”, keeps a lot of secrets but is very protective of his group. I loved that we got to see a bit more into his psyche and get a lot more development from him. His unresolved issues with his dad, the way he tries to protect the Horseman from the FBI, how he thinks he’s moved on from Freeman’s character, trying to lead the Horseman knowing they’re restless and his fear of actually finding out the mystery surrounding his father… there’s a lot going on with him and he’s probably the character who gets the most development.
  • Daniel Radcliffe. Harry Potter!! I support my HP cast and I thoroughly enjoyed him. First, he’s so small it’s so cute watching him be evil but he also did a pretty good job. He’s a standout in the film because he’s fresh, I think his motivations were a bit rocky though only because it was over something so minor and he was trying to accomplish it with something so big. Which I guess made since for his character. However, I wish he was the only villain in the film, there were like three and a half and that was too much. He could have had his personal agendas but it should have only been him.
  • Simple Story. I think this is also a “con” at least in comparison to the first because this story was a lot simpler, it was all the consequences of what happened from the first but it was very cut throat and dry. It didn’t contain a lot of the mystery surrounding the first one, which I honestly thought was a good thing to an extent. The first one, while intricate, also could get very confusing, whereas this one just kept it moving without trying to force confusion on the audience at every turn. You still have to try and figure certain things out, but it’s not making you scratch your head in annoyance.
  • Looks good. This movie looks really good. When it’s dark it doesn’t ever look like you can’t see what’s going on, it’s shot with wide angles, and in the scene with the card (you saw it in the trailer) the camera follows the card and it’s really cool. It’s not as nice looking as the first one but it’s kind of shot like a heist film instead of a film dealing with magicians which I guess was the point.
  • More fun. While the first one had a different sort of sophistication to it, the sequel is more fun in allowing it’s characters to be people, especially as a group, we didn’t really get to know the Horsemen in the first movie (especially Jack and Henley) but this time around, we get to see more of who they are. It allows the characters to enjoy what they do and have fun doing it, even if it’s nerve-wracking for them and watching them handle it.
Cons:
  • The romance development. The romance itself I didn’t have a problem with, it was actually kind of cute because the two characters were very similar and I think it’ll be a nice thing. However, I think it’s kind of obvious that they kind of sped it up due to Henley’s character being gone. In the first movie, Atlas and Henley had a past romance, which didn’t turn out well, throughout we got a hint of why they broke up and the possibility of it happening again due them having to work together. They never actually got together but I’m sure it would have been something continued in this film. However, with Henley gone, Lula’s character replaced her and the romance was shifted to Lula and Jack. Which again, I didn’t mind but it was underdeveloped. She had a thing for him, which is understandable, and while he appreciates the attention, he feels he isn’t ready for a relationship due to his past failure (stealing their stuff lol) and throughout she flirts but he never really reciprocates until a few scenes towards the end. I think if the movie was a little longer, maybe it would have allowed for a few more scenes between Jack and Lula where they can actually… talk. There was only one. I know it’s not a romance but if you’re gonna have it in there, even as a side plot, let it be developed.
  • Not as “magical” as the first. The magical elements were a bit toned down in this film and it’s a good thing and a bad thing, it’s a good thing because it doesn’t distract from the story HOWEVER it’s a bad thing because it’s a movie about magicians. It should be over the top and as magical as possible. It doesn’t have to be gaudy but it’s using “misdirection” against it’s audience and when you get to the conclusion, you probably already figured it out and kind of wished they didn’t try to hard to get to that moment. This is the flip side of the “simple story”.
  • Henley’s Absence. It’s kind of talked about but not really and it seems so out of character for what she apparently does to quit. She was underdeveloped in the first film but it didn’t seem like something she would do due to what we saw of her. Henley was shown to butt heads with Atlas, independent and can handle her own but… it just seemed so random.
  • Merritt’s twin brother. First of all, like I said, he’s funny sometimes but wow totally a useless character. Like I said, Radcliffe’s character should have been the only villain, Chase I think his name was smart in terms of magician stuff and for making his brother uncomfortable but he could have been taken away and it would have been fine.
  • Morgan Freeman’s Involvement. I wonder if this was the plan with his character from the beginning because if it was, it wasn’t surprising and it seemed forced.
  • The Name. COME ON! Missed opportunity! Not so much a con but it makes me upset! Not really though. It should have been called “Now You Don’t!”!
  • The Eye. Okay, so I know it’s a secret organization and what not, but what exactly is it? Is there going to be a third movie explaining the inner workings more? They recruit magicians to do what exactly? Too many questions surrounding The Eye that they weren’t answered here. I read there is going to be a third one so maybe it’ll be answered there but there could have been more given to us then what we got.
  • Too long. I think if there was more going on, character development, discovery, or using that time to really sit into the movie instead of a lot of  exposition or silent spaces, I think the length would have been acceptable.
Overall, I really enjoyed the movie. I have no idea if it’s better than the first, I probably will need to redo this review if I see the movie again because it almost seems like I need to experience it again to make sure my thoughts on it are concrete. I think it could have been better, it takes moments from the first movie and makes them better such as: developing Lula and Jack, having a simpler story that keeps the audience from scratching their heads too much but it also falters in the length that makes it feel stagnant and boring, it’s also predictable. However, the fun and magical elements are objective, it will probably vary from person to person as these tricks are not meant to “trick” but misdirect. It could have been better. Now, I want origin stories for the characters!
Rating. 2.5 out of 5