Now that’s a way to start out a video: “In a world where zombies have already infected every facet of pop culture, comes…another zombie movie, but this time, it’s got Brad Pitt.” Building up towards Marc Forster’s adaptation of Max Brooks’ best selling tale of the zombie wars, World War Z, that’s the feeling you got. You felt like the production was bouncing up and down waving and yelling, “we’ve Brad Pitt, we’ve got Brad Pitt,” and not offering much more. The fact that the movie is as good at it is was a surprise to many fans and critics, especially considering the highly publicized production problems, but there were big concerns going in. Now the latest Honest Trailer takes aim at the cinematic look at a pandemic plague of zombies.
This video, the latest in the series from Screen Junkies, is a damn good time. I liked the movie—which hit the home video market this week—but there are definite problems. Perhaps the biggest, and the least forgivable, is that the movie has absolutely nothing to do with the source material except the name. Brooks’ novel is an inventive take on the genre, framed as a journalist travelling the globe after the end of the zombie war, collecting survivor’s stories. In the movie, Brad Pitt hops around the globe, trying to figure out how to stop the spread of the plague. There’s even a list of all of the awesome things from the book that aren’t in the movie. As they say, it really is a waste of an incredible source.
One thing World War Z does have in excess, is a metric ton of coincidences. As Gerry Lane (Pitt) runs from “set piece to set piece,” as this trailer notes, he is met with incredibly lucky circumstances at every turn. It doesn’t hurt that he’s great at everything in he world. He’s good in situations that require military strategy and action, he happens to speak the language of everyone he encounters around the world, and he makes awesome pancakes. Is there anything this guy can’t do? He’s also the most durable human being ever born, surviving a car crash, a plane crash, and numerous incidents that kill everyone else around him.
World War Z does a few innovative things—the portrayal of the zombies as a force of nature, unstoppable like a tsunami may be the thing I appreciated most from the film. Aside, from that, however, the plot follows a preordained paint-by-numbers trajectory of both an action movie and a zombie movie. The video also lists all of the traditional genre clichés employed in the film, of which there are many. If they really had changed the title to Brad Pitt Zombie Movie, most of us wouldn’t have made any connection to World War Z at all.
This trailer also asks the question so many of us asked when we saw World War Z: Wait, is that Matthew Fox?