Zombieland: Double Tap Review. Admittedly Fun But Unecessary.

3 stars
When I first heard there was a sequel to 2009’s Zombieland coming out, I had quite a few reservations.
The first film came out ten years ago and, although it is a very enjoyable film, I thought it was very unnecessary to make a sequel now.
A few years after the first film came out, sure, but ten years later?
So, I admit I went in with a lot of skepticism.
Still, I enjoyed myself.
Zombieland: Double Tap is a fun film with a lot of great gags and zombie action.
Returning director Ruben Fleischer did a good job helming this film, which again follows the characters of Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), Wichita (Emma Stone), and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) on their bloody adventures in Zombieland.
All four of the actors do a great job portraying the characters they played ten years ago, although Breslin sadly does not have enough screen time to stand out.
That aside, the team’s banter is great and it leads to a lot of exciting action sequences, my favourite of which is a long take fight sequence following the arrival of two characters that are hilariously similar to Columbus and Tallahassee.

elvis and cowboy.jpg
The introduction of Albuquerque (Luke Wilson) and Flagstaff (Thomas Middleditch)  leads to the best action scene of the film.

There are plenty of creative moments in the film as well, including one at the start that actually made me jump in surprise.
Then there is the surprise cameo when the credits start to roll, which is also highly enjoyable.
So, if you are looking for a good time at the movies then Zombieland: Double Tap will definitely provide that.
However, the film does still have quite a lot of issues.
One of those is the lack of agency in much of the plot.
The film basically follows Columbus, Tallahassee and Wichita on a mission to save Little Rock but, honestly, I felt very little suspence in this mission for whatever reason.
On top of this, while many of the jokes do land a lot of them don’t as well.
This is mainly due to the new faces in the film, primarily Madison (Zoe Deutch) and Berkeley (Avan Jogia), who are both incredibly annoying and not at all funny.

Madison’s dumb blond, stereotype of a character provided no laughs whatsoever for me.

There is also a supreme lack of stakes.
I remember being concerned for the characters in the third act of the first film but here I felt much of the tension in that final act to be artificial and, thus, not investing.
So, in conclusion, while Zombieland: Double Tap does provide a fun experience, it has quite a few problems that make the sequel feel unnecessary.

Venom: Had Potential but the Pacing and Tone Ruin it.

When talking with people about Venom, most of them call it “a turd in the wind” a quote from the movie.
But is the film really that terrible?
Well, no… but it is still bad.
Venom never gets terrible, however, it does get pretty cringe-worthy at times and the pacing and tone really takes the film’s potential and throws it away.
Directed by Ruben Fleischer, the Venom stars Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock, a washed up journalist who, after trying to get dirt on CEO of the Life Foundation Carlton Drake, played by Rhiz Ahmed, ends up with the symbiote Venom taking control of his body.
This results in Drake trying to retrieve his “property” and Eddie and Venom having to work together to survive.
For what is worth, the film does start off pretty promising with great set-up for the symbiotes and Eddie’s backstory.

venom opening scene
The opening scene sets Venom up well, with a gripping look at what certain symbiotes can do.

However, the problems of the film quickly become apparent with its tone and pacing.
The film sporadically changes from a comedic film to a horrifying film.
These two tones do not mix well at all and the jokes can get pretty cringe inducing.
One of these “jokes” provides probably the most uncomfortable kissing scene I have ever seen put to film.
But I will admit, even though the comedy sections do not work at all, the horror sections are actually done well and do a good job at creeping you out.
The real thing that brings this film down is its pacing issues.
Scenes go by way too fast, making it very hard to get any emotion out of them.
There were numerous instances where I saw a chance for an emotional moment only the scene went by so fast I did not feel anything.
It felt like scenes with certain characters should have been cut all together to make these scenes go longer.
Chief among these characters is Drake, who is the most boring and cliche villain since Steppenwolf from Justice League.
I will say though that some of the actions scenes, excluding the ending one, and the interactions between Venom and Eddie are good.
However, this is once again brought down by the pacing because, although their interactions were fun, Venom and Eddie’s friendship progresses way too fast and I never bought Venom’s reasoning for helping Eddie.

Venom and Eddie.
Venom and Eddie have great interactions but, given the fact that the main story of the film takes place in a little over two days, the progression of their friendship does not feel realistic or earned.

The thing that drove the nail in the coffin for deciding this was a bad movie and not an average one was the ending action sequence.
This was an absolute mess of a scene with horrible CGI and direction, resulting in me not being able to tell what was going on.
All of this is a real shame because I can definitely see the potential Venom has.
It starts off strong, the interactions between Venom and Eddie are fun and some of the action scenes are enjoyable.
However, numerous things like the pacing, tonal inconsistencies, terrible villain and ending action sequence drag this down.
At the end of the day Venom is a bad film but not the worst thing I have seen this year.