Film and TV

Three Reasons Why World War Z Is Guaranteed to Suck

We've been getting swarmed with World War Z news recently -- a trailer, a poster, and various stills surfaced this week from the summer blockbuster set for release June 21.

The more we see of this movie, the more it seems like an action film with a side of zombies than a retelling of Max Brooks' novel that reinvented the zombie genre.

Brad Pitt has told Entertainment Weekly that the film got "bogged down" in politics, and editors cut a major portion of the film shot in Budapest as a result. That's one reason why this movie will suck -- keep reading for a few more.

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"It gutted the fun of what these films are meant to be," Pitt said of the Budapest footage that editors cut.

Audiences don't want to see meaningful explorations of the political ramifications of a worldwide pandemic. Sure, that was one of the main themes of the book, but this is a summer blockbuster. You know what audiences really want? Ant-zombies. Lots and lots of physics-defying ant-zombies.

(Not to be confused with zombie ants. Those are awesome.)

Here are three more reasons why World War Z won't live up to expectations.

1. Even Brad Pitt is sick of this movie

Pitt tried to save the interview with EW by comparing the drama of World War Z to that of films released during Oscar season. Maybe he was joking.

Even if the film borrowed more than just its name from Brooks' novel, an Oscar would have been a tough sell for a zombie movie.

Pitt is probably just too worn out to care -- this film has been eight years in the making and required five weeks of reshoots that inflated the budget from $125 million to more than $170 million.

2. The zombies are lame

Now, for those who haven't read the book and don't understand all the hate this movie is getting: One of the biggest differences between the film and the book is the depiction of the zombies.

Brooks envisioned huge swarms of zombies, but they were the traditional slow-moving undead variety. While it's easy to think this type of zombie might not work well on film, The Walking Dead does a great job of making slower-moving zombies threatening.

The zombies we see in the trailer are comically hyper-charged for the big screen. Speed isn't the only thing that makes zombies frightening -- it's more about the inevitability and relentlessness of their approach.

Fast zombies aren't even enough for Hollywood. They have to be able to destroy helicopters, scale enormous walls, and blow up an airplane. Aside from the fact that Mythbusters debunked explosive decompression, how would a zombie even blow a hole in the side of a plane in the first place? Are zombies carrying C4 now?

(And what's with explosive decompression this year? Is it the new "Inception Bwah"?)

3. The movie "stars" Brad Pitt

Brooks' novel didn't have a central character. It chronicled the experiences of multiple survivors of a fictional apocalypse and employed a UN agent as a narrator.

Conventional wisdom dictates movies have a main character, though, so the writers gave Pitt a leading role. At that point, the movie ceased to be World War Z and became just another zombie flick.

It's possible to make the argument that the narrative structure in the books wouldn't have worked on the big screen, but then why make it into a feature film in the first place? World War Z would have worked perfectly as a miniseries, with each episode detailing the experiences of a different survivor.

Oh, what could have been.

Of course, we've failed to mention what is probably the most unrealistic part of this film -- that audiences will believe the United Nations, the employer of Brad Pitt's character, can actually get anything done.

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Alex Ferri
Contact: Alex Ferri