Despite reports about re-shoots, behind the scenes turmoil, and a lukewarm critical reception, World War Z managed to bring home an estimated $66 million dollars at the box office this weekend, bringing the $190 million dollar film’s worldwide tally to $111.8 million, thus far.
Is it worth your time? Check out our review to find out.
Warning: Spoilers Ahead!
The word “re-shoots” seems like a dirty word that can poison public perception, but despite that, I went into World War Z hoping for a high action, zombie death-fest with a little plot and hopefully a lot of gore and Brad Pitt.
Sadly, what I got left me mostly cold.
For one thing, the slow pace really makes you feel every second of the film’s one hour and 56 minute run time. As I said, I came into this hoping for action, and while there was some, the scenes from the action packed trailer get drowned by a more human story about the search to quash the film’s growing epidemic and how it affects the (mostly unseen) family of Gerry Lane (Pitt), a retired UN investigator who is pushed back into service.
Pitt is solid in this, but far from great. He’s not wooden, but he’s also not animated. His film wife — co-star Mireille Enos — is as devoid of emotion as she is on The Killing, a disappointment that really hurt my ability to connect with that side of the story and care about what Pitt’s character was fighting to get back to.
The rest of the cast also failed to make much of an impact. David Morse (who played a jailed Ex-CIA agent) did little more than provide a bit of exposition, pointing Pitt’s character to Jerusalem where he teamed up with Daniella Kertesz’s Israeli soldier, Segen.
Segen is solid, tough, and an asset to Pitt’s character as they move from Jerusalem, to a Walking Dead comic book moment, to a thrilling and completely implausible mid-flight action scene and the World Health Organization — where the film’s lazy conclusion occurs, seemingly existing more to lead into a possible second film than serve as a fulfilling conclusion to this one.
Speaking of un-fulfilling, I knew I was in-store for the “fast moving” variety of zombie, but these seemed like they were supercharged. They also lacked the level of visual rot and decay that can really sell the un-dead to an audience, and the transition from man to monster wasn’t exactly subtle, occurring fully in a matter of seconds.
When gathered for CG shots, i.e. the wall in Jerusalem, though, they were a sight to see, but nowhere near as impressive as you would expect from a movie that cost what this film cost.
Ultimately, World War Z can’t justify it’s budget (or, at least, they can’t justify it on-screen) or the changes that were made to the source material, and it can’t wash away all of the negative press with a compelling and stunning film, because this just isn’t that. What this is, is a fix for hardcore zombie and Brad Pitt fans who can ignore some of the film’s shortcomings, though, I clearly failed in that and I kinda wish I had my money and my two hours back.
Source: Box Office Mojo