“Mother nature is a serial killer—no one is better or more creative.” With these foreboding words, “World War Z” introduces a world where humanity is at war with the undead. Starring Brad Pitt as former United Nations investigator Gerry Lane, this globetrotting adventure is a visual stunner, packing together epic set pieces to deafening music and nonstop action. Beneath all this chaos, however, lies a disappointing movie with a mediocre, clichéd plot and unresolved story arcs.
“World War Z” starts off relatively strong. Director Marc Forster ably depicts a paranoid public scrambling for cover as government officials seek to unravel the mysteries surrounding the pandemic. However, the movie quickly loses momentum. After a confusing and underwhelming plot twist, the film becomes all too predictable as Pitt is tasked with finding a cure for the pandemic. With an unoriginal premise, Forster does not take the initiative to expand the zombie genre, and the movie pales in comparison to more innovative treatments such as “The Walking Dead” and “Contagion.”
Even more disappointing is the lack of resolution as the movie draws to a close. Early in the story, Forster presents interesting narratives to explore the potential causes of the plague, with ideas ranging from supernatural to environmental. Key moments of the first half are dedicated to accounts of Indian “rakshasas,” mythological undead soldiers. Yet, these accounts never make their way back into the second half and this only heightens the disappointment at the simplified, unsatisfying conclusion that Forster eventually serves up.
“World War Z” sadly sets itself up for failure—opting for visual delight at the expense of plot development, Forster delivers a movie as cold and brainless as the zombies themselves.