This summer, Brad Pitt returns to his action roots in the post-apocalyptic horror thriller, World War Z. Directed by Marc Forster and starring Pitt alongside Mireille Enos, James Badge Dale, and Matthew Fox, World War Z deals with one father’s attempt to save himself, his family, and the planet from a zombie attack that is killing the world’s population and destroying the globe. After much delays, budget increases, and month long reshoots, World War Z is finally coming to theaters in the summer and the first trailer, full of zombies, military units, and lots of Brad Pitt, was just released. While Paramount Pictures is probably hoping the craze over The Walking Dead carries over to increase this film’s appeal, the first trailer has me a bit skeptical about this hopeful blockbuster; watch the trailer and get our full reaction below:
Why I’m Skeptical:
1) Is this I Am Legend? From this trailer alone, World War Z looks to have an attractive lead actor in the role of a father who gets split from his family during a zombie takeover of New York City and the rest of the world; hmm, sound familiar? Combined with the extremely video-gamey special effects for the zombies, World War Z looks a lot like Will Smith’s 2007 blockbuster I Am Legend. Now, that’s not necessarily a bad thing (Legend is a perfectly suitable movie), but what made Legend watchable was that the film was ultimately more about Will Smith and his damaged character than about the actual zombies; unfortunately, the World War Z trailer is just the opposite: all fancy zombie special effects over any sense of character and that is definitely problematic, and if they’re ganna push the film as an effects heavy summer blockbuster, than the special effects should probably be better than what we’re seeing right now.
2) Brad Pitt, Action Hero? There’s no question that Brad Pitt is an extremely talented actor, but does he make for a great action hero a la Will Smith or Matt Damon? I’m not so sure. Throughout his lengthy career, Pitt’s action oriented films have been, to me at least, his weakest, and anytime a film has Brad Pitt cast as a handsome killing machine that said movie usually ends up stinking (Troy, Mr. and Mrs. Smith). Bottom line, Pitt is a great dramatic actor, be it in westerns (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford), crime-thrillers (Seven), or more. Last year alone, Pitt provided the best performances of his career in the emotionally charged Moneyball and The Tree of Life, and, unfortunately, World War Z looks like a step in the wrong direction for this talented actor.
3) Marc Forster, Action Director? Similar to Brad Pitt, director Marc Forster has yet to prove that he can handle big time action flicks effectively, especially ones as CGI-effects heavy as World War Z. With films like Monster’s Ball and Finding Neverland under his belt, Forster is an acclaimed dramatic director, one particularly skilled at showcasing human relationships and drawing out strong performances from his lead actors (Ball’s Halle Berry earned Best Actress and Neverland’s Depp and Winselt secured Acting nominations); unfortunately, none of this has anything in relation to World War Z, and the trailer doesn’t seem to highlight that the film will focus on strong character development. Forster’s only foray into action was the dismal James Bond film, Quantum of Solace, and for that alone I must be skeptical of World War Z.
4) It cost how much to make? Before this trailer gave us our first preview of the film, all we knew about World War Z was its traumatic production schedule that included tons of delays and months of reshoots. Currently, the film’s production budget stands anywhere between $180-$200 million and that’s an area for much concern! Remember the last big budget wannabe blockbuster, Battleship? Yeah, that’s the current vibe I’m getting from World War Z, and it’s going to take a hell of lot more advertising to convince enough people to see this ting so that the studio can break even.
Are you guys excited for World War Z? Is this new trailer making you as skeptical as I am? Psyched to see Brad Pitt return to action or are you kind of wishing he continued his recent dramatic winning streak? Sound off below..
World War Z hits theaters June 21, 2013
Article by Zack Sharf