Despite being plagued with production problems (re-shoots, budget ballooning, creative differences, etc.), it looks like Marc Forster’s zombie thriller World War Z turned out just fine. Paramount held the first screening for the film last night and reactions from press, celebrities, & the general public have been overwhelmingly positive so far. The celeb reactions are definitely the most important here… you have no idea how relieved I am to know that Katie Couric liked it. I’m glad it’s not the disaster that many people assumed it would be and hopefully other upcoming screenings go over just as well.
Loosely based on Max Brooks’ novel of the same name, the story revolves around United Nations employee Gerry Lane (Pitt), who traverses the world in a race against time to stop the Zombie pandemic that is toppling armies and governments and threatening to decimate humanity itself. Anthony Mackie, Matthew Fox, Mireille Enos, and James Badge Dale co-star. World War Z opens on June 21, 2013.
Scott Collura (IGN): World War Z is a big, solid zombie movie. Its globe-spanning story and reams and heaving mountains of ghouls give it a scope that I don’t think any film in this genre has seen before. It’s not a perfect movie, but it is often intense and engrossing, and the crowd at the screening last night really seemed to dig it.Not surprisingly, while the film is based on Max Brooks’ novel, it deviates significantly from it. And that’s fine, as long as fans of the WWZ tome understand that going in. This version of the tale is a Brad Pitt thriller that happens to be set in a world of zombies, one crafted around the star and his character. I’ve read the book and enjoyed it, but I enjoyed the movie in a different way altogether.
Mike Sampson (ScreenCrush): This is not a slow burn. The first 2/3 of ‘World War Z’ are a surprisingly entertaining zombie thriller. It’s intense and scary despite not being gory really at all. We’ve never really had a zombie movie of this scale before and it’s impressive to see a big disaster movie that isn’t aliens or giant robots but just lots and lots of zombies. If you’ve heard any of the production problems the film has had, don’t believe the hype: ‘World War Z’ isn’t a disaster. But as a disaster movie, it’s actually pretty good.
Kel (LatinoReview): World War Z will probably be the most intense movie you will see this summer…I was shocked it was that good. So much for those re-shoots. CGI zombies weren’t that great, way better than I Am Legend CGI, & better movie. There is practical stuff that was was good.
Mike Hogan (HuffingtonPost): There’s action, but it’s confined. I think it works, though I suspect some people who see the movie cold will wonder why its scale contracted instead of expanding… That family focus is one reason World War Z felt like something other than just another serving of apocalyptic mayhem porn (though there’s plenty of that). And I think that’s why it was smart to reduce the scale for the last hour, reminding us that Pitt’s character is a man and a father — not just a soulless killing machine. The dark rumors that World War Z would be dead-on-arrival appear to have been greatly exaggerated.
From celebs and others:
Just saw World War Z. Sooo much better than World War A-Y. #WorldWarZ
— jimmy fallon (@jimmyfallon) May 23, 2013
— DeborahNorville (@DeborahNorville) May 23, 2013
So, was World War Z exactly like the book? No, but I felt it captured much of the flavor, and man, does it have some intense sequences.
— Charles Soule (@CharlesSoule) May 23, 2013
— SimonPS (@simonps) May 23, 2013
I saw World War Z tonight. It was NOT the book. But it was INCREDIBLY anxiety-inducing despite having flaws in the denoument. But!
— bex schwartz (@starbex) May 23, 2013
With Morgan F at the World War Z screening. Love him and really liked the movie when my eyes weren’t covered! twitter.com/katiecouric/st…
— Katie Couric (@katiecouric) May 23, 2013
— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) May 23, 2013
Saw World War Z. Not at all the disaster it’s been made out to be. It’s entertaining and will do fine. So there, negative buzz,
— Kurt Andersen (@KBAndersen) May 23, 2013
World War Z is unreal. A great film. Was totally stressed out from start to finish
— Emma Heming-Willis (@EmmaHeming) May 23, 2013