World War Z (2013) Directed by Marc Foster. With Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, James Badge Dale, Fana Mokoena, David Morse and Daniella Kertesz.
World War Z is ordinary, very ordinary. My review could end there, but I’m compelled to analyse why something so expensive, that had such a huge commitment of time and effort from so many creative minds, could end up watered down to little more than two hours of not very much.
Based on Max Brooks’s horror novel of the same name, WWZ stars Brad Pitt as a former UN somebody with specialist training, who after the sudden outbreak of a zombie apocalypse, is called upon to do something risky that means he’ll be separated from his family – insert obligatory wife and kids. The film then proceeds to follow Brad to various global CGI zombie-infested locations as he looks for a solution to the outbreak.
What’s surprising is just how tame it is. Everything you see and hear feels like it’s been recycled from something better, indeed, you could argue that Danny Boyle has already made exactly the same film. On a character level, it’s just surface talk. Nothing penetrates or instils that sense of fear, that at any given moment we might lose a vital character – ala early The Walking Dead. The drama scenes, between helicopter viewpoints of zombies swarming over towns and cities, are just plodding through the motions to fill out the running time. There was a strong disconnect as I sat there, hoping the ensuing zombie carnage would at least provide some sort of visual spectacle to temporarily paper over the cracks of the stale human drama story that never lets you in.
Visually, it’s fine and there are some money shots, all of which seem to have found their way into the trailer. That aside, I’m stretching to pick out much else to recommend – oh, Mireille Enos does have a nice smile. In the end, there’s an empty feeling of pining for a better time as a witless and rushed-looking two hours passes by without ever engaging you where it matters. Epic fail. 2/5