Brad Pitt’s new zombie film has a novel spin on your atypical zombie film, but it turns out that’s about all it has.
So our film starts out with Gerry (Brad Pitt) rescuing his family when Philadelphia is suddenly overrun by some sort of infected horde. The “undead” are swarming all over the globe in a matter of moments, and as an ex-UN agent, Gerry is asked to aid in an operation to find the source of the outbreak.
The film begins promisingly enough. We see the city reduced to chaos (and as someone from Scotland, very funny to see Glasgow shot to look like Philadelphia for budget reasons) and most of the world’s infrastructure is gone. Pitt’s family are safe upon a military aircraft carrier at sea while he travels the continents to find the cure.
But this is where the film loses its conviction… There is something of a rinse-and-repeat structure going on; think 28 Days Later if it ate 2012. Wherever Brad Pitt goes, the entire place is not far away from being totally destroyed, he is permanently on the edge of a wave of destruction. While this makes the film very fast paced and immersive, I can’t say I felt compared to care about the people getting massacred. Like when Gerry’s wife calls at a very inappropriate time, and several soldiers lose their lives, upon calling her back, they are all: “Oh hey, you called at a bad time, but it’s okay I’m fine”. Why not some tension from all the DEATH a little mistake like that can actually do??
I guess another problem with this lack of caring is that the “zombie” horde is 95% computer generated. In fact, if you wait through the credits you will see that under the title Zombies there are only twelve names. Funny that!
The wave of zombies comes after our hero almost specifically, and while it does make for great spectacle, there was never a point where things slowed down and allowed for the characters to breath. I really liked the soldier woman that he meets later on, but we never got to know her…
Also, how hard is it to sneak around quietly? The ending is all about being quiet, to avoid zombies noticing them, yet our heroes are bumbling around like clumsy oxen. I know you are tense, but seriously just watch where you are walking!
It is a passable zombie film, and if you haven’t already seen the trailer then you have some good action spectaculars to look forward to. But as is, it is a little simple and straight-forward without much conviction for what its selling: the end of the world.