Now that a presumably fair-sized percentage of the HE community has seen Marc Forster and Brad Pitt‘s World War Z, reactions can be shared. The projected $60 million-plus weekend haul indicates that the dicey pre-release buzz (troubled, re-written and re-shot, hugely expensive) had no effect on anything. Well, maybe a bit.
“I wasn’t floored but I was definitely okay with [it],” I wrote from Paris on 6.12. “Two or three times I opened my mouth with an ‘oh my effing God…whoa!’ Once or twice I chuckled in amusement. It’s not ‘scary’ as much as a big, epic-sized action-adventure zombie spectacle with some strikingly good, super-fluid CG compositions. It’s basically a globe-sprawling, much more expensive 28 Days Later. A lot of serious exacting work has gone in to making this thing look and feel and sound right. But it’s basically just a good mass-zombie movie that cost a shitload (i.e., $200 million).
“My only strong objection is to the relentless attention paid to the family of scruffy, broad-shouldered Pitt, who plays a UN guy called Gerry Lane whom everyone is hoping will somehow assemble all the pieces and clues and come up with an antidote to the zombie plague. Big Brad is mostly seen running around and carrying the weight and constantly phoning his wife (red-haired, alabaster-skinned Mireille Enos, who isn’t nearly hot enough for me or Pitt or anyone who isn’t Irish — she looks like an over-stressed and under-paid something or other in a low-budget Stephen Frears film).”
I was more than a little irked by this emotionally primitive attempt at button-pushing. Cherish and protect your family, of course, but when truly earth-shaking events are happening doesn’t this mean that heroes need to wrap their heads around the Big Picture and find a way to focus on a worldwide plague with…I don’t know, more in the way of a generally humanistic response? Something more than just “Myfamilymyfamilymyfamilymyfamilymyfamily,” etc.?