I wanted to like the World War Z trailer, I really did. I know that I’ve bitched and moaned about how Brad Pitt‘s new movie completely ignores the book it’s based on, and how preposterous it is that the screenwriters created an entirely new character for Brad (Gerry Lane) instead of going with the original narrator. But when the trailer went online last night, I was still somewhat optimistic that Brad could sell this story with at least a little of the engagement and commentary that first drew me to Max Brooks‘ novel a few years ago.
But this movie looks ridiculous, in the worst possible way. Some background: World War Z the book is about Max Brooks (agent of the UN Postwar Commission) interviewing survivors of the zombie apocalypse to see where we went wrong. World War Z the movie is about the zombie apocalypse right as it’s happening. Meaning, it’s just like every other zombie movie. In fact, judging from the trailer it also looks like a mash-up of Battleship (Gerry winds up on an aircraft carrier in the middle of the ocean), The Bourne Identity (he’s the only man who can stop the zombies!), and The Mummy (his wardrobe).
It really feels like the writers shoehorned in Brad as some zombie action hero, but now the film looks so unrealistic I’m not interested. It’s not like 28 Days Later or I Am Legend where there’s one guy who’s found a way to survive. While the dead are rising, the government’s all, “Hey, Gerry, d’you mind leaving your wife and kids to pilot helicopters and drive trucks through the hordes of zombies? For some reason, you’re the only guy who can save the world.” Sigh.
Really, though, I shouldn’t blame Brad. It’s clear from the endless reshoots and mishandling of this project that he’s just as stuck in it as the rest of us are. In fact, it’s worse for him because his name is attached to this project. We can choose whether or not we go see it, but it’s gonna be immortalized as one of the misses of his film career.
Photo: Paramount Pictures