At what point do you resign yourself to an insurmountable force? One that never seems to end?
This is a question Brad Pitt faced daily for several years, as World War Z languished after incredibly bad publicity, cost overruns and the entire third-act of the movie was rewritten and reshot. Not to mention, all of Max Brooks’ fanboys were clamoring for the actor-producer Brad to mold the problematic movie a tad closer to the novel, which it represents in name only.
The end result? A mishmash of undead dilemmas that is serviceable — yet forgettable.
World War Z, also known as Brad Pitt’s Passion Project, was one he could not easily put down. Much like his character Gerry Lane, Pitt endured a non-stop losing battle to the end. And eventually, despite the odds, the movie overperformed, actually making some money. Final box-office take: More than $500 million worldwide. Much like his fictitious movie character, Pitt somehow got the job done.
While the novel takes a serious look at themes of survivalism, social commentary and uncertainty, the movie version of World War Z attempts to be a serious action movie featuring Zombies (if that’s even possible). Time after time, retired United Nations Ambassador Gerry Lane visits locations like Israel, South Korea and a W.H.O. Research Facility seeking answers, yet never getting any. And for some unknown reason, Gerry’s now got a family to look after. One which isn’t remotely involved with the novel. One which feels artificial to the story, as if the viewer needs a reason to relate to Gerry. This was a big mistake.
There was more-than-enough source material to make a great movie here. There was no need to diminish the novel by deleting it all and haphazardly knitting together three larger-than-life action scenes and calling it a movie. When the Zombie Apocalypse arrives, it will definitely be an Every Man For Himself scenario. There will be plenty of children left behind. And when a kid shouts, “I want my blanket” nonstop during a hectic escape scene, I’m not inclined to ranking this an all-time favorite.
The action sequences feature many quick cutaways and all of these CGI Zombies are sprinters. No reason is given how that’s possible. They’re just fast, undead and they act together. Much like the paper-thin storyline, an explanation is never given. The movie just keeps moving ahead.
There’s never really any blood or gore splattering across the movie screen. This must be a kinder, gentler Zombie Apocalypse. One for the whole family. Speaking of family, is it any wonder why Mr. Angelina Jolie would want to play a UN Ambassador, after his wife actually plays one in real life?
Strength: Plenty of non-stop action.
Weakness: No storyline to speak of. Not a novel adaptation.
WTF Moment: A soldier gets her arm lopped off after getting bitten and survives. Feels a tad similar to The Walking Dead.
– “Movement is life.”
– “He slipped. He’s dead.”
– “Mother nature is a serial killer.”
– “You can’t make a dead person sick.”
– “This isn’t the end. Not even close.”
– “I want to see some Z’s on the ground.”
– “Every human being we save is one less Zombie to fight.”
– “Infecting the populace with a lethal illness is not exactly a cure.”