Directed By: Marc Forester
Written By: Damon Lindelof, Drew Goddard & Matthew Michael Carnahan
Screen Story By: J. Michael Stracynski & Matthew Michael Carnahan
Based On The Book By: Max Brooks
Cinematography By: Ben Seresin
Editor: Matt Cheese & Roger Barton
Cast: Brad Pitt, James Badge Dale, David Morse, Ruth Negga, Daniella Kertesz, Mireille Enos, Ludi Boekin,
Life for former United Nations investigator Gerry Lane and his family seems content. Suddenly, the world is plagued by a mysterious infection turning whole human populations into rampaging mindless zombies. After barely escaping the chaos, Lane is persuaded to go on a mission to investigate this disease. What follows is a perilous trek around the world where Lane must brave horrific dangers and long odds to find answers before human civilization falls.
Now let me start off by mentioning I avoided this film like the plague when it first came out. As A fan of the book watching what they had done seemed like a travesty. Especially once you see the what are supposed to be impressive zombies and they looked more like cartoons.
It would be easy to write this film off as just another zombie film and only zombies as it is in and can take the place of whatever villain and plague you need and can easily be faceless and not insulting. This film already had a hard road ahead of it has to deliver a PG-13 rating which isn’t easy especially when dealing with zombies, which usually require gore and graphic violence.
The film I have to say isn’t the book, but it’s not as bad or embarassing as I thought it would be. In the book, we examine from different perspectives the oncoming zombie plague and is more dramatic as we get into personal history and the history of this particular apocalypse. Here we have Brad Pitt trying to find the cause but also a way to stop the plague. While having a bunch of axiom scenes. Luckily it’s not the action epic it could have been with him as line warrior. Though throughout the film he is the smartest and toughest guy in the room. The film tries to stay true somewhat to the book as he travels he questions and finds out more information about the plague.
While the film is thrilling with a bunch of good action set pieces. it’s hard to get really involved or scared when half of the scenes feel like you are watching a video game. Zombies by the hundreds disposable, but threatening when one on one. Yet obviously digital like half of the blood spilled. So it never has that level of reality needed. In fact, the only moment that felt real was the pharmacy scene and when brad Pitt thinks he might have been infected and is ready to commit suicide if he begins to change within the next 60 seconds.
I even liked the obligatory scenes of him checking in and protecting his family, giving him added incentive to come back home safe.
The film feels a bit epic and brings more of a thriller element into many of the Action sequences, Rather than just tons of shooting and bullets. They feel dramatic and important rather than just throw away material that is there just to look cool. It is truly what saves the film from just feeling like a video game adaptation almost. The film has an urgency, but not an unrealistic one
Director Marc Forester impresses as he seems to grow as a director with each film. Here he shows adeptness at big scenes of action with an element of thrills and chills. Showing he has come a long way from QUANTUM OF SOLACE.
Originally, the film had a different ending: the plane lands in Moscow rather than crashing in Wales. The passengers are rounded up, and the elderly and sick are executed. Gerry is drafted into the Russian army. An unknown period of time passes, and we see Gerry fighting the zombies. He realizes the zombies are weak in the cold. The film ended with him getting back to the USA and leading a D-Day like invasion against the undead on the Oregon coast. The ending that was used instead made the movie less brutal and ended it with a glimpse of hope
Why Brad Pitt would see this as a franchise? I have no idea though maybe with the bulk of the book and its stories he envisioned epic films exploring the landscape which would seem to fit more as a miniseries.
Damon Lindelof and Drew Goddard rewrote the screenplay in the middle of the production to create a whole new different third act.
This seems to be a studios idea of a zombie film, destroying them without more decapitations instead of more shooting in the head. Just like instead of the zombies feasting on humans they just want to bite and infect. The film feels more like a modern apocalypse film that happens to involve zombies and works on a grand global scale to involve all cultures. Instead of a small story in a limited location. It’s nice to see a bigger zombie tale.
It would be too easy to label this as a trend and cash in, this film actually seems thought out and smarter than it should be. I mean, I can honestly say I wasn’t bored and rarely rolled my eyes. A good popcorn film