Can't believe it has been 5 years already since the first "Død Snø" movie. I still remember quite a bit of that movie, including some of my main issues and disappointments with it. The sequel certainly took long enough to make, so you would think that they also had enough time to think things over, look back and 'correct' all of their previous , to help to turn this sequel into a more better and more effective movie. So did they succeed? I have to say yes to that!
Not saying that the first "Død Snø" was an absolutely terrible movie, since it absolutely wasn't but I still had plenty of problems with it. It for instance wasn't a very well balanced movie. The whole movie came across to me as one that first initially was written as a 'serious' horror attempt and straightforward slasher, involving Nazi zombies but about halfway through someone suddenly, for whatever reason, said; 'This isn't working. Let's do something totally different and turn the movie into an as silly and over- the-top one as possible'. Some of the silliness, as well as gore, felt too forced and the horror and comedy of the movie just didn't always go together very well. This sequel is different though in the sense that it definitely knows what it wants to be and there is no confusion or hesitations about anything. This is a full blown comedy, with of course also still plenty of gory zombie action thrown into the mix. It's a far more focused and balanced movie, when compared to the first one.
The comedy isn't always great though. There definitely are some awkward and lame moments and characters in the movie that work out as anything but funny. But still overall, since the movie embraces what is, it also is able to get away with more and even some of the silliest and most random things do still work out as comedic at times.
I also definitely see it as a good thing that the movie isn't just trying to rehash the first movie. Not only is the movie tonally different (maybe also because it's filmed in Iceland this time instead of Norway, while the story is still supposed to take place in that country) also story-wise it's a completely different movie, with a different approach and almost entirely different cast, that still connects well with the events from the first movie. It also definitely helps to watch the first movie before you go see this one, though the movie at the start does provide you with a quick summarization and reminder of all of the main and important events from the first movie, which was a very welcome thing, also for me as well.
It still obviously is a low budget as well. Don't know, it's hard to put my finger on but there is just something about the way how the movie is shot and looks and feels like. It all makes it apparent that this movie probably didn't had the biggest crew to work with and had to be creative with the budget at parts. Sometimes it works well for the movie, while at others the lack of money and resources is too apparent and becomes too much of a distraction for the movie. Still at the same time it's obvious as well that they definitely had some more money to spend this time around, compared to the first movie. The action feels bigger, the zombies maybe even more evil and the gore more effective as well. The gore isn't always there to impress you or to be as over-the-top as possible but most of the time it's just there as part of the movie and story, which is a good thing to note. Again, it's a focused and well balanced movie, that successfully (well, most of the time) combines different genre elements and ingredients.
One of the other things I have to 'nag' about is the acting though. Now, probably in an attempt to appeal to a more international- and in particular American crowd, this movie also features some English speaking actors in it and the movie in its entirety probably is for 50% in English. It doesn't really feels right and ultimately really doesn't seem necessary at all. Besides, the English speaking actors really don't impress much! And whenever a foreign actor, such as Vegar Hoel, has to act- and say something in English, it never sounds as anything impressive either, especially not when all of the dialog is written by persons who's first language isn't the English one. So please Tommy Wirkola, if there ever will be a "Død Snø 3", make it an entirely Norwegian movie again! (Oh and please don't do "Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters 2", thank you very much.)
But all problems and complaining aside; for a movie of this size, with such a simplistic and silly story and concept such as this one has, this absolutely remains a great and very entertaining movie, that also surpasses the original in my opinion. It's obviously not one to take very seriously and it's one to simply have some fun with instead. Most of the comedy is good, the Nazi zombie action and gore are fun to watch and more importantly, the movie has a good balance!