Fans of Max Brooks’ novel World War Z may say the movie’s failure comes from subverting the novel’s structure—a collection of accounts of the zombie war set 10 years after its end—and setting the movie at the beginning of the conflict. Maybe that’s the problem. I’d argue a movie’s job isn’t to be faithful to its story’s origins; it’s to be an entertaining movie, and World War Z is not. Suggestion: Play “Spot the Derivation” to make the viewing experience more meaningful.

For example, Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt), a UN investigator, spends much of the film looking for patient zero, the first person infected who’s turning people into zombies. See also: Contagion

Gerry is retired and lured back into service. See also: Rambo: First Blood Part II. See also: The Godfather Part III. See how many other, better zombie movies you can spot in the celluloid.

And in what must be coincidence—because the screenplay isn’t smart enough for it to be purposeful—a World Health Organization doctor tells Lane not to hit zombies with blunt objects because it just riles them up. If you recall Blazing Saddles, co-written and directed by novelist Brooks’ father Mel Brooks, you shouldn’t shoot Mongo because it just makes him mad. 

Oh, and there’s a set-up for a sequel. And that’s not even a spoiler.


Directed by Marc Forster

With Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos and Daniella Kertesz

Regal Santa Fe Stadium 14

110 min.