The problem with comedy sequels is that it's hard to tell the same joke years later, but funnier. Despite the ravages of time and changing tastes, filmmakers must suplex the lightning back into that bottle, hoping everyone's down for another helping of that one bit everyone quoted in college, except now with too many celebrity cameos. (I'm very deliberately looking at you, Anchorman 2). But despite lurching into theaters a full decade after the original, Zombieland: Double Tap avoids those pitfalls while delivering a suitably zany Zombieland experience with the easy charm of an off-brand Mike Judge picaresque.
Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Abigail Breslin, and Emma Stone all return to banter and blast zombies, and their wry camaraderie speaks a seemingly genuine desire to play in this viscera-splattered sandbox again (rather than, as with many long-delayed sequels, simply the desire for a new beach house). Added to the mix are a spate of goofy newcomers, including a delightfully unapologetic flibbertigibbet (Zoey Deutch) and a pair of dirtbag doppelgangers (Luke Wilson and Thomas Middleditch). It's more a live-action cartoon than a serious entry in the zombie canon, but as a low-key genre comedy, it totally works. Best of all, the celebrity cameos remain sparingly deployed. (Still looking at you, Anchorman 2.)