There’s really not much to say about the disaster in a disaster that is World War Z, the film adaptation of Max Brooks’ outstanding zombie novel that isn’t actually based on the book, that we haven’t already said before. The basic recap is that the film rights caused a bidding war between production companies owned by Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt, with the latter eventually securing the rights, and that was probably the only positive highlight of an otherwise doomed film production.
With World War Z reportedly way over budget and experiencing a litany of production problems, fans of the literary version have grown incredibly skeptical of the film’s prospects, and we’re all basically endlessly crying over this movie, despite the fact that we haven’t seen it. Thankfully, someone finally got his eyes on a clip of WWZ, specifically the first eight minutes, and it sounds like we basically have more to complain about now.
That someone is Badass Digest’s Devin Faraci, who was able to peep the exclusive footage at Harry Knowles’ birthday movie marathon. I’m just going to assume that my invitation was lost in the mail.
The footage begins with Brad Pitt, his wife and two daughters stuck in traffic in Philly. As the family plays time-wasting guessing games, the radio ominously talks about rabies infections that are spreading globally. There’s the sound of sirens, and a motorcycle cop races between the gridlocked cars, knocking Pitt’s rearview mirror off. As Pitt gets out of his car to retrieve the debris, there’s a commotion ahead, and suddenly an explosion a few blocks distant (it’s unclear to me if the explosion was related to jet sounds, as the sound mix was unfinished). People begin to panic, and another bike cop comes by, yelling at Pitt to get into his car. Just as he does… a semi nails the bike cop and keeps going, knocking cars out of its way.
Pitt decides to follow in the wake left by the truck, and he speeds down the street as chaos erupts. Jets and helicopters fly overhead, masses of people run screaming in the streets. Pitt gets distracted by his kids and gets into a big smashup in an intersection. As the family stumbles, okay, from the wreckage, we see what’s happening. Rampaging, super fast, hissing ‘zombies’ are running after people. One jumps on the hood of a car and smashes its head against the windshield until it shatters, and drags out the driver and begins biting him.
The ‘zombies’ are full on rage zombies as seen in 28 Days Later. They even have those very yellow eyes, and all that spastic movement. It’s obvious that 28 Days is the source material for this film, possibly even more than Brooks’ novel.
Faraci calls the whole thing “dead generic” which pretty much sums up our expectations to this point, especially since the film’s first trailer already revealed that we were getting superhuman Speedy Gonzales zombies instead of the traditional Slowpoke Rodriguez type. At this point, I’m just trying to lower my expectations to the point that I’ll walk into the theater thinking, “Here comes the worst movie ever” so I’ll exit thinking, “Hey, it was better than Grown Ups.”