Release Date: June 21
Director: Marc Forster
Rating: Not Yet Rated
In the wake of a zombie pandemic outbreak, a United Nations employee travels the world looking for a solution to stop this virulent strain of violence before it wipes out all of humanity.
What We Know:
United Nations employee, Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) and his wife, Karen (Mireille Enos of The Killing) were just sitting in the car with their two daughters, waiting out what only appeared to be a New York traffic jam, when pure carnage ensued. A powerful outbreak had abruptly spread across the city and the rest of the world, turning people into mindless zombies.
However, these aren't the traditional slow shamblings that stereotypically stagger and crave brains. Rather, they are quick-moving, aggressive, reckless, and move in gigantic herds, making them a formidable collective force that could be qualified as an enemy army in a new "World War." The phenomenon has spread across the entire globe, exposing the startling differences between nations in regards to how they handle the crisis.
After an intense ordeal getting his family out of the overrun city, Gerry is recruited by the military to leave his family behind in their care while he and a team travel the world looking for a solution to the widespread woe that has transformed billions upon billions into bellicose brutes. (And it's going to require a lot more than a bizarre speech about Chanel No. 5.)
Rounding out the cast are Matthew Fox, Eric West, David Morse, and James Badge Dale. (Fresh from his role in Iron Man 3 as baddie, Coldblood.)
What We Expect:
An adaptation of the 2006 book by Max Brooks of the same name, World War Z (not a hip attempt to pluralize "World War,") seems to diverge radically from the multi-story narrative style of the source material. The book was structured in the form of multiple first-hand accounts of the zombie outbreak, years after it had been squelched. If The Walking Dead redefined the zombie genre by focusing on the outbreak's long-term effect on the lives of its characters, World War Z seemed to take more of a pseudo-historical approach to the crisis, telling the tale in hindsight. -- That does NOT appear to be the case with this film adaptation.
We seem to be getting a more traditional linear narrative as Brad Pitt (whose production company, Plan B Entertainment backed the film), globe-trots like Jack Ryan, heroically searching for a solution to the worldwide zombification crisis. Although, exactly WHY his character, an original creation not in the book, described only as "a U.N. Employee," is qualified to solve the issue remains a mystery.
That being said, it does have the potential to retain the spirit of the book by virtue of the way it focuses on how a hypothetical zombie apocalypse affects the geopolitical structure of the world. It's an aspect rarely covered in the zombie film genre. If the film does maintain fidelity to the post-zombie world that Max Brooks creatively maps out, the straight-up action (which does look impressive,) could make it something memorable.
For more info on World War Z, check out the official site.
Be sure to check out more of G4's 2013 movie previews throughout the month of January.