Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 68% (Critics) / 86% (Audience)
Directed By: Marc Forster
Written By: Matthew Michael Carnahan, Drew Goddard, Damon Lindelof and J. Michael Straczynski
Starring: Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, Daniella Kertesz
Studio: Paramount Pictures
Synopsis: United Nations employee Gerry Lane traverses the world in a race against time to stop the Zombie pandemic that is toppling armies and governments, and threatening to destroy humanity itself. – (Source)
I have to give WORLD WAR Z credit for a new take on zombie behavior. While these aren’t the first running zombies they are way more than just fleet of foot (even though they all seemed like a bunch of Usain Bolts with the sprint speeds they could get up to) but they are more like feral beasts than anything else. They fling their bodies at potential meals face and teeth first and they snarl and bite at the air. Y’know it was like they were all exposed to some sort of velociraptor virus. And the swarming effect actually looked great on the big screen.
The action set pieces were all well done and man of them had a really nice amount of tension to them. The tension was especially high in the scenes at the World Health Organization where Pitt and his compatriots had to get from one side of the building to other through a maze of dormant zombies. It had the aura of a really cool survival horror video game in those scenes.
Speaking of Pitt, he was a perfectly cast as the lead in this film and conveyed the weary calm of a guy who has seen all manner of atrocity in his job as a United Nations investigator so he was able to quickly react to the zombie apocalypse. That made him immediately becoming a “man of action” a lot easier to swallow than if he had just been a mailman or something. His A-list star wattage also gave a certain amount of prestige to the proceedings.
Brad Pitt’s character having a family was an anchor weighing this film down. His children were obnoxious from the first moment they appeared and every time we switched gears from his zombie investigating to his contacting his family to let them know he was alright the film came to a screeching halt. Things would have run much more smoothly if his character was a childless bachelor.
Scientists + Handguns = Total Disaster
Final Verdict: A nice summer popcorn movie with slight ambitions to be more that never gets bogged down in the “serious message” and features some really cool action set pieces while also adding a new take on the well worn zombie genre.