Review: World War Z exceeds (low) expectations

Review: World War Z exceeds (low) expectations
FILE - This publicity image released by Paramount Pictures shows Brad Pitt in a scene from "World War Z." (AP Photo/Paramount Pictures, Jaap Buitendijk, File)

I’ll admit it right off the bat, I was not thrilled about going to see “World War Z.” Yes, I know, I’m a movie critic this is my job, blah, blah, blah. Movie critics have feelings too, and my feeling about this film was not good.

What I had heard were a range of things; everything from struggles getting a script written, to trouble with director Marc Forster, and of course the two cappers, WAAAY over budget and re-shoots. So, I was worried when the theater got dark and even more worried when it took the first five minutes to get through the opening titles. So many credits!

The movie is a less-complex version of the Max Brooks novel, and that’s a good thing. We get to know Gerry Lane (Pitt) and his family right away. They are heading out on a family trip from their home in Philadelphia when all hells breaks loose in the middle of traffic. By this time we’ve learned that Lane is ex-military or something. He’s worked in a lot of dangerous situations and gets his family on the run quickly.

The situation deteriorates fast as the family tries to navigate through the chaos and avoid being attacked. We finally learn that Pitt is actually ex-UN, and if they can survive the night, he and his family will be picked up and taken to a safe place.

Unlike the book, in the movie we’re in the midst of a full scale global crisis and Pitt’s character is sent off to find out how it all started. His global journey bounces him from Korea to Jerusalem to Wales. Each country has different violence and he gathers more information about a solution. Some of the situations are completely ridiculous. No, I’m not going to be a spoiler, but I will say this, with “World War Z,” we finally know what Brad Pitt wants to be when he grows up - Bruce Willis.

For all the bad things I’d heard about “World War Z,” it really wasn’t that bad. A bit hokey at times, some good jumpy parts, but not a movie I walked out of the theater saying, “Yeah! That was awesome!” It seemed to be the same way for the other 309 people at the screening. It’s in 3D, but it certainly didn’t need to be. If you’re curious, or you love the idea of a zombie apocalypse, I’d recommend a matinee. “World War Z” is rated “PG-13.”

Read more of Mary Loos' reviews at www.cinemacynic.com