We got our first look at the trailer for World War Z earlier this week (based on Max Brooks’ best-selling zombpocalyptic novel). That footage introduced Brad Pitt as a UN worker – who must both protect his family and race against time to stave off a sudden and inexplicable (?) zombie pandemic – while teasing the wreckage wrought by CGI hordes of fast-moving zombies who swarm like rabid ants across cityscapes (and dog-pile alongside barriers erected to protect the uninfected).
Today,we can offer the full-length theatrical promo for WWZ – but does it manage to leave a better, worse, or equal impression as the previously-released 20-30 seconds of footage?
The answer (for me, at least) is … somewhat better than the initial trailer preview. In terms of the narrative and characters (which mark a significant departure from those in Brooks’ source material), WWZ still appears to recycle many a standard global disaster movie trope; specifically, many of the same ones that’ve been used throughout director Roland Emmerich’s filmography (Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow, 2012). Fortunately, there’s more emphasis here on the more grounded action and imagery depicting what an actual global calamity might look like – as opposed to the shots of digitally-rendered zombie masses, which are (hopefully) far from finished at this point in post-production.
If you’ve been following our coverage of WWZ, then you’re undoubtedly aware of the film’s problems to date – namely, release date delays, a troubling amount of pickup photography, third act rewrites, and continued controversy over changes from Brooks’ original book. Not to mention, fan disgruntlement over the plans for PG-13 Rated zombie violence and (via Vulture) rumors that production proved so rough that Pitt and director Marc Forster (Finding Neverland, Quantum of Solace) reached a point where they were no longer on speaking terms.
That’s all to say: at this point, my concern is less about WWZ deviating from the original novel – more about whether or not this film is going to be a good zombie disaster flick on its own terms. It looks to be as impressive in scale and serious in tone as one might hope for – but will that make the cliche narrative aspects more or less easier to swallow? And will the camerawork/editing mark an improvement on those in the (at times) borderline-incoherent Quantum?
We shall find out when World War Z begins on June 21st, 2013.