Friday – Opening night of World War Z in the UK and the family are out in force, including Lady BSM, who doesn’t consider herself a zombie aficionado, but no problem. We’ve been looking forward to this film, having pre-booked some pretty plum seats a week earlier for the late Friday night showing.
Be honest. It’s a zombie film. It stars Brad Pitt, globally adored by women and almost certainly near the top of the ‘man crush’ parade, just below Leonardo Di Caprio. Or is that just me?
Well initially, it’s the hair and the beard, Brad. At times, if you half closed your eyes, it looked like Frank Gallagher from Shameless trying to save the world.
At the time of booking, we could only see the 3D version. Now, for people of my age, 3D films were usually an excuse to get people to watch crap films. However, these days, 3D is all the rage. I must admit I find it difficult to wear a pair of 3D glasses over the top of my normal glasses. Yes, the effects are amazing, but I don’t really need it to make the film more enjoyable, but there you go.
Then there’s his wife, played by Mireille Enos, or, as Miss Katherine described her, ‘the ugly one out of The Killing.’ There may be jealousy afoot here, but the general consensus of opinion was that however far-fetched the film could get, Mireille playing his wife just didn’t hold water. Although, to be fair, she does agree to adopt another child within 15 minutes of the start of the film, something Brad’s real life partner Angelina would no doubt approve of.
The film does have a plot, but very little sub-plot. In fact, there’s no sub-plot at all. What does Brad’s wife do? What about their kids? Where’s his mother in law?
One moment, Brad is a humble house husband who was once a high level UN operative who was good at going to areas of the world where tensions were high and people needed protection: the Middle East, former countries of the Soviet Union, Africa and The King of Clubs in Gloucester on a Saturday night. There he is, happily making pancakes for his family before driving the kids to school.
Within 3 minutes, he’s standing amongst the mangled wreckage of vehicles and rampaging zombies, suddenly elevated to the position of chief World Saver without the blink of an eye. He doesn’t even ask about the terms and conditions of his contract or how it affects his pension.
So the zombies are fast, they’re rabid and are attracted to noises, good, solid, zombie behaviours. Scenes involving the zombies are very blurry, which I assume is to make the whole experience a chaotic one. Lady BSM thought it was because the glasses couldn’t keep up with the action.
There’s no long fever, shaking or philosophical musings from the infected before lapsing into a coma before turning like they would in ‘The Walking Dead’. Oh no. As soon as somebody is bitten, they writhe about for a couple of minutes before leaping back to their feet like rabid guests on The Jeremy Kyle Show. There’s not one or two of them, either, these zombies swarm like ants, replicating like crazy.
So, Brad is sent to Korea with a professor to find the answers, but the medical nerd is clumsier than Mr Bean and leaves Brad to sort things out. Who needs one of the most powerful medical brains when you’ve got a rugged beast who can sell millions of bottles of perfume?
Brad asks about Moscow. “It’s a black hole,” they tell him.
He wants to visit India. “It’s a black hole,” he’s told.
Brad desperately searches for a cure. Several clues appear. I won’t give away the plot, but I did notice that a Mo Farah lookalike and a man who used to be on ‘It Ain’t Half Hot Mum’ are significant figures.
Then the plot takes a bizarre turn, when Brad and a female soldier who’s been subject to some emergency surgery by our hero manage to board a flight out of Israel. Brad’s flight is redirected to almost the last place on Earth you’d think it would be re-directed, causing unintentional hilarity in the cinema. Even more fortuitously, or hilariously, this is the place where the leading medical research laboratory is sited.
It’s here where Brad tries to find a solution. Perhaps if everybody were an A list Hollywood celebrity, the zombies would stop their attacks?
Well, go and see for yourself. For what it’s worth, it’s a good old Hollywood action film, but a bit like fast food. It’s enjoyable while it lasts, but with no lasting substance. Let’s just say it’s more a vehicle for the Frank Gallagher lookalike than zombies…