Genre: Action, Adventure, Horror
Starring: Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, Daniella Kertesz
Users review: It seems unfair to criticise the film for not being like its source material given that it obviously didnt try to be but Im going to start by bringing that up anyway. The book had so many sequences that could have been turned into amazing set-pieces in a film and yet not one of them were used. The book also had some neat ideas about how a global outbreak and response play out. What might work? What would catastrophically fail? What would the cost be? Not one of these ideas were explored or even alluded to and there seems absolutely no reason why this was the case.It might have been okay to abandon these ideas if the film had some ideas of its own to explore or at least play out but it doesnt. Instead we follow Brad Pitt and Brad Pitts baggage through a few set-pieces as he first escapes from and then looks into an outbreak of zombies. Theres little else to say about it than that.The first major problem came down to the zombies themselves. For a zombie film to get that right is critical and World War Z stumbled pretty badly here. The physical appearance of the zombies is a clear problem. Given the films penchant for shying away from blood and gore to keep its rating audience-friendly, the only things that separates these zombies from regular people are milky eyes, grey skin, and a tendency to bare and snap their teeth. Theyre not the bloodthirsty creatures at various stages of decay and ruin that feature in most zombie films. This is generally fine in close-ups but at a distance its impossible to tell the zombies apart from regular people. And when most of your action scenes involve panicking people running away from what are allegedly zombies, having them pretty much indistinct from each other means you never get much of an inclination about the level of the threat or even whats going on.A possible solution would have been for the film to opt for the shambling moaning Romero-esque zombies of the book. Instead of running and tackling, having a slowly ever-advancing tide of danger would have turned the zombies into something to be feared rather than something to try and spot in a crowd.But even later when the film displays zombies in their docile state its shown how little the film-makers understand how zombies are supposed to work. The jerking around and screeches were meant to be threatening and they are anything but. They are borderline slapstick and certainly comical judging by the outbreaks of laughter in the audience at my screening. They clicked their teeth together as if they enjoyed the sound. They repeatedly hit their heads against the wall in a way that was meant to seem deranged but just came across as silly. They spun and jerked around leading to a hilarious sequence of Pitt and two others essentially playing Red Light/Green Light with a snarling zombie. Nothing about these zombies seemed to work as intended.The second major problem came down to the complete lack of weight or tension. Brad Pitt isnt the type of actor anyone expects to be in danger, at least not when hes in an action film, so already theres the knowledge that hes fairly safe. But added to that, his character is a practically invulnerable bad-ass UN investigator whose field knowledge and ingenuity makes him able to adapt to any situation. His baggage, as I referred to them earlier, is played at first by his wife and two daughters as well as an orphan boy - far too cute to ever come into real harm in a film like this. The baggage is then played by a doctor and a team of soldiers who are so bereft of personality and character that there is no reason to care about them. He then teams up with a young Israeli soldier who is the closest person aside from Pitt to qualify to be called a character but unfortunately she doesnt seem to serve any purpose. His final baggage comes in the form of a team of WHO doctors. I wont say anything about them aside from pointing out that all four are named in the credits as W.H.O. Doctor despite being a key part of around a q...