The zombie apocalypse has finally arrived, and Gerry (Brad Pitt) is drafted back in to his former job at the UN to try and find the cause, and a cure. In exchange, his family will be kept safe from the disease that is ravaging the world.
World War Z does not seem to have been an easy film to make. There have been numerous script rewrites, reshoots, and complaints that the CGI in the trailer looked cheap and rather nasty. The release date was also pushed back from December 2012 to this week. None of this bodes particularly well, especially since the first version of the script was received incredibly well when it was leaked online.
Traditionally, zombies are an allegory for a section of society or a comment on society as a whole, World War Z lacks this, and it seems that some of the political tones of Max Brooks’ book have been toned down. This leaves the film feeling rather bland. As well as this, questions are raised that are never really answered.
Some of the cast fare better than others; Brad Pitt certainly does not get to do anything he has not done before, Daniella Kertesz does well enough as a soldier who is desperate to survive, David Morse changes the tone from fear to disgust as an ex-CIA operate who had his teeth pulled to stop the spread of the zombie virus and Mireille Enos does not fare well as Gerry’s wife Karin, who does not have the good sense not to try and call her husband during a zombie apocalypse (Zombies are attracted to sound, after all).
The film’s script troubles are right up there on the screen for all to see. Not only does Gerry’s family feel as though it were tacked on at the last minute just to give him something to fight for, but detail and facts are lost throughout the film. As well as this, it is difficult to find a character to root for, as they are either killed incredibly quickly or are so generic they are not relatable. As well as this, the CGI has not been improved since the trailer, leaving the film feeling cheap and badly done. On the plus side, there are some beautiful shots, and the tension ebbs and flows nicely, but this is not enough to make World War Z into anything but a mediocre thriller with zombies.
In all, World War Z suffers from the troubles it encountered throughout production. The characters are bland, the story garbled and the resolution unsatisfying. There are some beautiful shots and some nicely tense sequences, but overall, this is a film that feels familiar and ultimately, uninspired.