I was right to pity World War Z from afar because it is the cinematic embodiment of its lurching viremic protagonists; brisk, toothy, vacant and seemingly unconscious of the damage it's wreaked on its own kind (in doing the genre no favours at all). Let me begin by expressing my disdain for the characterization, because lo, it is crap. See the expressions in the image above? I cannot tell a lie- that's all your $14 will buy you in this instance. Brad Pitt (let's not pretend he's anyone else at this point in his professionally-suicidal overexposure) is a former investigatory type with the UN turned house-husband, though still uniquely equipped to furnish all your epidemiological and zombie-evasion requirements. There is a briefly-sketched familial unit to be dragged manfully to safety once the virus strikes because as we all know, chicks just want to lie down and/or talk on the phone, or maybe make it hard for you to get important shit done. We haven't exactly come to where the flavour is with this lot; they run well, they look a bit tense, die quite philosophical deaths or just sort of peter out when no longer required. The performances are mmmokay; no one stands out (except good old Peter Capaldi who does his best dead-eyed intermediate white dude, putting Brad's efforts in this direction to shame), but that's probably because the plot doesn't exactly seize anyone by the balls. Viral conflagration>military action>mass disorder>one man's search for truth etc etc, you know the drill.
I sense the ghost of something better in all this cliché and can guess why fans of the book are gouging their own eyes out in despair at the treatment it was accorded. I do sympathize. We've come to a very sad pass indeed when it's only the Twihards getting any joy from adaptations but I won't bang on about this industry tailspin issue here, even if it is writ particularly large in this flick.
But whatever. Is the thing worth a look on a damp Monday night? Sure, if only to the uninitiated. Like I said, World War Z is a bit like a zombie itself, and if you sit quietly, you might enjoy aspects of its hyperventilating durr-fest, forget you paid good money for the privilege and not savage an usher. The thing is pacy and kinetic and if it's not very smart then at least it's not boring; when we put aside notions of source-desecration, it's less of an overall turd than many of us were lead to believe, so don't sweat my nit-picking if you've already turned in your brain for the evening. You might get a laugh out of the volume of panstick congealing on Brad's under eye bags. I know I did.