After five years of production, which based on reports may have been as hellish as the apocalyptic world it depicts, “World War Z” has arrived with Brad Pitt in the lead role and director Mark Forster (“Finding Neverland,” “Quantum of Solace”) behind the camera.
I had admittedly low expectations after reading of the production woes, but the final product seems to have been hardened rather than broken by the fire through which it traveled. There may be little left of Brooks’ novel after multiple rewrites–the last of which occurred after principal filming had been completed–but his decision to consider the reality behind the fiction survives.
“World War Z” is a serious movie and plays out like a serious movie, just one that happens to have zombies eating people in the street. There is plenty of action, but it always seems to be part of the larger story rather than simply playing out to entertain. The best comparison I can give is the “Bourne” films, which managed–through solid storytelling and focused directing–to elevate themselves above the typical action thriller.
The film is rated PG-13 for intense frightening zombie sequences, violence and disturbing images.