Friday, 9 November 2012
Posted by emmetocuana at 21:45
I must confess the very first thing I thought after watching the trailer was.....where's my bloody Zombie Zatoichi! I'll come back to that in a moment. First - to the trailer itself.
Admittedly it starts off on an ominous note, with Brad Pitt and his young family swept up in an epidemic that quickly consumes Philadelphia (which is in actual fact a disguised Glasgow I believe). The decision has also been taken to depict these zombies as a monolithic sea of the undead, infecting and devouring all in their path. These zombies do not just run, they consume cities.
For the most part this appears to be a decision taken to thrill audiences with a new horror spectacle and it might well prove to be popular.
However, as an adaptation of the novel it is problematic. The title itself is intended to rhyme with 'World War Three' and Brooks has described how he was inspired by The Good War, which featured interviews and recollections of those involved in the Second World War. As such World War Z presented a series of short vignettes set during different periods of a global pandemic. Some characters are revisited by the interviewer, allowing the reader to track their survival. In essence that is what the book is about, survival in the face of global collapse. The notion of the zombie allows Brooks to turn the world upside down, even introduce stories from a host of different genres within the one book. I mentioned Zatoichi above - one plot set in Japan has a blind man become an adept zombie slayer. I love it, as it is such a cheeky reference, but also quite an interesting idea in itself.
This trailer implies that the movie will follow the efforts of Brad Pitt's character to initially get his family to safety and then undergo his own mission, whatever that might be. This is hugely disappointing as it lacks the larger scope of the novel and the quiet tragedy of survivors around the world enduring over a number of years. What has happened here is a failure of resolve. The fascinating notion of an oral history of a zombie epidemic reduced to an action thriller for ADD-debilitated audience members. This could have been a mixture of faked zombie footage with a host of talking heads. Reds, but with zombies.
Ah well. We still have Henry Rollins' narration. I will treat that as the proper adaptation.