I hope they paid Max Brooks a fuckton of money, because the movie they made — at least based on the trailer below — bears little resemblance to his brilliant zombie apocalypse novel. The novel was less a single narrative and more a series of short stories all set within the same zombie apocalypse, tales of how individuals or groups were dealing with the crisis in different countries. It was actually a fascinating approach to the genre, and worked exceedingly well overall.
The movie, which stars Brad Pitt and is directed by Marc Forster (Quantum of Solace, Machine Gun Preacher), takes a decidedly different approach, focusing on one man (Pitt) and completely changing the zombie traits to the so-called fast zombies. I’m not too worked up about that — it does have some interesting visuals as a result. Those moving mountains of undead humanity make for some righteously scary scenarios. Yet one of the problems with the trailer is that you don’t actually see any zombies. They could just be some crazy-ass, human-Jenga-building sonsabitches for all I know.
Regardless, the intimacy and depth of the novel isn’t really shining through, and basically it just feels like a larger-scale Dawn of the Dead with better actors (the cast includes Bryan Cranston, Mirielle Enos, Matthew Fox and David Morse).
I loved Brooks’ novel, so I was obviously anxious about an adaptation. This… really doesn’t look much like his novel. Basically they took the concept of shooting the genre on a worldwide scale — something that hasn’t really been done — and dumped the rest. In fact, the official synopsis basically confirms that:
“The story revolves around United Nations employee Gerry Lane (Pitt), who traverses the world in a race against time to stop the Zombie pandemic that is toppling armies and governments and threatening to decimate humanity itself.”
That doesn’t mean it can’t be good, but it’s not World War Z. Coupled with the fact that the production was apparently a disaster — constant battles between Pitt and Forster, rewrites and reshoots galore — and I’m not holding my breath.
You be the judge: