World War Z – Directed by Marc Forster
Release Date – June 20th 2013
The week that the world lost the greatest mobster family man of all time – Tony Soprano – actor James Gandolfini, also saw the release of one of Brad Pitt‘s weakest films.
The day before yesterday it was vampires, yesterday superheroes, today it’s Zombies – the go to bad guy for film and TV. From almost kid friendly flicks like Paranorman and Warm Bodies to the much darker and scarier Walking Dead and 28 Days Later…
Now it’s Brad Pitt versus the zombiepocalypse in World War Z.
A film that promises some great human vs zombie battles but never really knows where it’s going.
Pitt as a retired UN tough guy called back into service by a strained chain of command after a global outbreak of cannibal rabies is headed here, there and everywhere including a navy ship in the Atlantic by helicopter, South Korea by armed forces aircraft and then onto Jerusalem and finally to Wales via commercial airliner.
Zombie fans can argue about the merits of different zombie movies from George A Romero’s Night of the Living Dead, that kickstarted the genre, to the playful celebration in Shaun of the Dead to the eerie silence of 28 Days Later, but one thing that unites the genre is some sense of social commentary.
This is marginally present in WWZ, but the film loses out to an abundance of CGI and ridiculous plot points, and takes it self far too seriously when it really needs to make more of the lighter moments that do arise.
One great moment, that no-one laughed at was Brad Pitt’s wife calling him as he’s trying to sneak through a field of zombies who are attracted to any noise…
I struggled to give this more than 2.5 stars.
Lacking the satisfaction of a solvable riddle like the virus movie Contagion and not as entertaining as Michael Jackson’s Thriller, it falls between the cracks of what makes a great film.
If you need to see Brad Pitt in a film, check out True Romance or Killing Them Softly, if only because the presence of just one of his co-stars, the late great James Gandolfini, outshines literally millions of CGI zombies.