Trailer Tuesday: World War Z

I haven't read Max Brooks' genre-redefining novel (yet), but I haven't been deaf to the anguished cries of fans concerning the upcoming film adaptation, World War Z.

In literary form, World War Z is one of the definitive zombie apocalypse tales. In fact, it could be argued the book is the ultimate Man Vs. Undead Saga. Attempting to be as realistic as possible, the story follows a UN agent who is travelling the globe and collecting personal accounts from survivors of a decade-long struggle between the living and the dead. The War has led to the near extermination of the human race, and the novel examines the socio-political changes it has forced on humanity. Some nations and cultures have dealt with the undead uprising more effectively than others.

 Judging by its first trailer, World War Z has certainly got the scope of the story right. It looks epic and global. Unfortunately though, there's something about the blatantly CGI-zombie tidal waves that grates. Yes, you read that right. Zombie tidal waves. It's certainly original, but replacing practical make-up effects with rubbery graphics makes the undead more fantastic; less credible. Nobody moves like that.

It's also unclear why Brad Pitt's evidently Ordinary Joe character is so vital to combating the government-toppling zombie pandemic. 

Anyway, many World War Z fans with a realistic state of mind have already given up hope of watching a faithful adaptation, and instead are bracing for another popcorn blockbuster. The issue seems to stem from the fact that the movie has been subjected to various rewrites and reshoots. And that is never a good sign.

After J. Michael Straczynski's early "political conspiracy" script was highly praised in 2008, the screenplay was rewritten by Matthew Michael Carnahan shortly before filming began in 2011. Word is that executives wanted the film to have more of an action focus, and initiate a trilogy. However, Marc Forster is in the director's chair, and his incoherent action sequences in dour 007 flick Quantum of Solace left a lot to be desired.

World War Z could go either way, but right now I'm keeping my expectations so reined in they're still standing inside the stable.

Pushed back by around 6 months, World War Z is now set to open in the US on 21 June 2013. The film's South African release date is currently unknown.


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