21 October 2019

Double Tap Or Double Crap?

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Today I went to the cinema to see Zombieland: Double Tap and I got absolutely fucked by one of my many enemies. You all have casual enemies right? He's this big fucking gonk that checks your tickets before you're allowed into the screening and he's such a fucking jobsworth about it. I have one of those cards that means I can see as many movies as I like and not only does he make me show it to him every single time but he then spends about ten seconds checking my fucking face against it too. This would be fine but I visit so often that I see this prick more than I see my own fucking Mum. It's insulting that he doesn't just recognise me. When he says, “can I see your card?”, I hear “my God your face is fucking bland”. My friend and I swapped cards once and the guy got so confused when checking our faces that I thought he was going to give himself fucking whiplash checking them. Today he was at the counter instead and so I decided to order a cup of tea off him. I think that's what I ordered anyway because what he then gave me looked like a warmed up cup of milk that had been left out in the fucking rain. Had I not seen him make the monstrosity then I'd have assumed that he'd milked the cow directly into the cup and then ran around the other side to catch its fucking tears. It was like he'd only ever heard of how to make a cup of tea in a dream and as the kettle boiled, the memory faded and he'd decided to fucking wing it anyway. Had he wanted to check my face today then he'd have seen me pondering exactly how shite a cup of tea has to be before it becomes a fucking police matter. I don't mean to waffle on about this but if I ever happen to remember this day at all then it won't be because of Zombieland: Double Tap.
It's not that I hated the movie because I really didn't. I had a completely passible time with it. It was the most generically fine experience of my life. But it was so competently bland that I could feel myself forgetting it before it had even finished. Do you ever spend so long looking for porn that by the time you finish you think that you could have had two or three porn viewing sessions in that time? Well, the movie was like that in that the experience was fine but by its conclusion, I couldn't help but wonder how much more porn I could have enjoyed instead. I honestly have stronger feelings towards that lukewarm cup of watered-down gnat's piss than I do the movie. The first Zombieland was obviously really good and sort of came out of nowhere. The director hadn't yet made a name for himself, the cast hadn't won all of their subsequent awards, and zombies hadn't quite been as necro-fucked into being everywhere as they are today. I have a theory that zombie movies are a kind of wish fulfilment experience as we all get to imagine how we'd survive if society crumbled and we were allowed to do whatever we wanted. It's kind of like Brexit except there's at least enough food for the fucking zombies. As well as being surprisingly funny though, the first movie had its gimmick with the survival rules which I think really tapped into this aspect of our love of the genre. If I was ever asked in a job interview about where I saw myself in five years then I'd laugh in that fucking idiots face but if they asked about my zombie survival plan then it'd be time to get out the motherfucking whiteboards.

Conversations about zombie survival plans even seem to have overtaken stories about last night's dream and upcoming holiday plans in terms of topics that are actually as boring as fuck. But this sequel has literally taken a decade to show up and I'm not sure that the world collectively gave that much of a shit about the first one to still be excited for it. If I eat a plate of chips and then you bring me a slightly worse plate of chips an hour later then I might enjoy a few more from that second plate but then I'll just slide the rest onto the floor, walk out, and never think about them again. This sequel is that second plate of chips. It's not that it's crap it's just that I don't know who has the appetite for it? It might be the same director but I was more excited by him when he hadn't done anything, than I am now that he's done Gangster Squad and fucking Venom. Which isn't to say that the cast isn't still good fun. They're all basically just playing the versions of themselves that we've seen them do a million times before but they're all likeable enough right? Well, except Jessie Eisenberg of course. It's not his fault but he was so good in The Social Network that whenever I see him I forget that he's not the real Mark Zuckerberg and I subconsciously hate him for all of the evil that Facebook has gone on to do. I'm actually at a point now where if I see the genuine Mark Zuckerberg then I just assume it's an alien trying to pass itself off as Jessie Eisenberg because of how fucking creepy he looks. Have you seen him? He always seems like he's about to open his mouth to clean his eyes with his own fucking tongue. The very fact that we've never caught Mark Zuckerberg shedding his skin on camera is actually mind-blowing to me.

Of course, zombie films are at their best when they actually have something to say about the state the world in which they're released. Romero's original Dawn Of The Dead even tried to deconstruct the reality of this zombie outbreak fantasy by setting it in a shopping mall and then showing us how fucking dull it would be to have everything that we could ever possibly want. Although his film did come out in 1978 which I suppose was decades before the invention of the Nintendo Switch. But despite being the second film in the series, Zombieland: Double Tap is still struggling to get past the excitement of the situation to say anything at fucking all. It's annoying when I'm watching a film that's set well into the apocalypse and they all still somehow manage to have better fucking drinks than the one I've just fucking paid for. It all seems a lot less fun to watch now because of how little has changed since the first one. Did I like seeing Woody Harrelson slam a baseball bat into a zombies head? Sure. But if I wanted to see that again then I could just rewatch the first film at home where I don't have to have my face inspected by one of Jabba's pig guards before he pisses into a fucking mug for me. At the start of the movie, we see the gang living in the White House before Abigail Breslin's character fucks off with some bullshitting hippy to live in a peaceful commune with him. Obviously, things don't go well for them meaning that the rest of the gang are forced to leave the safety of their current haven to go rescue her. If the film does have a message it seems to be that people who strive to live in peace are idiots and that you should be grateful to the White House for keeping you supplied with guns. In which case the movie can obviously go fuck itself.

Except I don't actually think that the film means to have any real message. I just happened to spot that one because I'm of the snowflake generation that is generally suspicious of those handheld murder toys. Sorry for my controversial views on how the slaughter of the innocent children in their schools is a bad thing, America! For the most part though, the film just seems content with delivering more of the same as though ten years haven't taken place. I recently rewatched the first movie and in retrospect, I actually found it's third act to be a little dubious. After introducing Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin as these strong, independent characters, it concludes with them dangling over the snapping mouths of the zombies as damsels in distress, screaming, and ready to fall in love with their white knights. If this sequel has advanced at all it's that there's only one damsel in distress this time as Emma Stone has been allowed to join the rescue party. I'm guessing that this is less about rebalancing gender stereotypes though than it is a sign that Emma Stone's agent is better than that of Abigail Breslin's. Plus as much as we all liked that first film do you really think we'd still remember it if it wasn't for the Bill Murray cameo? Slither is a great horror/comedy from a much better director and nobody ever fucking talks about that anymore. Well, this film doesn't have any surprise cameos that would set it apart from anything else. Or any surprises at all for that matter. But can you imagine in ten years if somebody claimed that Zombieland: Double Tap was their favourite movie of all time? Like a cup of tea that looks as though it was scooped through a bath full of baby puke and then fucking sneezed into I genuinely think that would be fucking madness. Thanks for reading, motherfuckers, and see you next time.

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