Ratings for reviews will appear above the fold, while the review itself will appear below the fold to avoid spoilers for anyone that wants to go into it with a blank slate.
Jean-Paul’s rating: 2/5 stars
Hey, I have a great idea! Let’s take a book known for its geopolitical depth and try to make an action movie out of it! That’ll totally work!
The problem here may have been that, even if I haven’t read the book yet, I’ve heard enough about it to have expectations of the movie. The movie failed those expectations. There were many warning signs even before the movie was released. There were major parts of the movie re-shot and I heard that the entire ending was redone because of feedback from test audiences. Not a good sign. There was also the opening credits which featured half a million production companies. I have a movie rule of thumb that if there are over three production companies involved with the creation of a movie, you are likely in for a rough movie watching experience.
I think the biggest problem with the movie was you’ve already seen it. Anyone who has seen the trailer has already experienced every major turn of events and every cool zombie swarm scene in almost exact chronological order. With a few key exceptions, you already know what’s coming.
The basic premise of the movie is Gerry Lane is an ex-UN something-or-other who specializes in getting out of hairy situations. He quit to be with his family, but the advent of the zombie apocalypse throws him back into the mix against his will. He then globetrots from location to location trying to find the source of and the cure for the zombie virus. This is done in a pretty formulaic show up, shit happens, escape by the seat of your pants, go somewhere else, lather, rise, repeat pattern. Some of the zombie stuff is pretty cool, but most of the hops on Gerry Lane’s adventure feel like a waste of time.
My assumption is that Brad Pitt set out to make a movie in which the protagonist goes on a hunt for patient zero which leads him to clues on how to come up with a cure, but it was deemed too intellectual for American viewers. Thus the dumbed down version that was released for consumption. That’s too bad because there’s a lot of good source material here. It just needed to be put in someone else’s hands.
The only real accomplishment of the movie was that it did succeed in making me want to read the book. I guess author Max Brooks could count that as a win for him even if it’s not for the reason of liking the movie.