|Brad Pitt in one of the film's few quiet moments|
"You can't make a dead person sick."
Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) and his family suddenly find themselves in the midst of chaos when a plague breaks out in their city -- indeed, around the world -- driving people crazy and making them violently attack others. These people turn out to be zombies, reanimated after death by a virus. UN representative Thierry Umutoni (Fana Mokoena) gets Lane out, but he learns that his family can not stay in their safe refuge unless he agrees to accompany a biologist, hoping to create a vaccine, to the spot where the virus originated to look for clues. Lane later winds up in Israel, were the undead pile atop one another in a grotesque exhibition so they can launch themselves over a wall to get at the living people on the other side. [Unlike the dead in Night of the Living Dead, these zombies movie very quickly]. Lane saves the life of a young female Israeli soldier named Segen (Daniella Kertesz), and both wind up on a plane when the passengers become infected. They wind up at a research center in England where Lane thinks he's come up with a novel way of protecting people against the zombies. Despite some arresting passages -- such as the wall sequence in Israel and the outbreak on the plane -- World War Z can't quite overcome the fact that it's just another apocalyptic zombie movie [like 28 Days Later] with over-familiar ideas. Based on a novel, it still owes a lot to Richard Matheson's I Am Legend. However, it is generally fast-paced, creepy, well-acted, and often quite exciting. [Gore geeks must have been quite disappointed that despite the gruesome tone the movie does not indulge in much graphic bloodiness.] Humanism is in short supply -- there's little talk of compassion for the dead victims nor scenes where a living person sees a dead one that they loved -- and the ending is kind of flat. Foster also directed one of the worst James Bond movies, Quantum of Solace.
Verdict: More zombies that you can shake a stick at. **1/2.