Zombies are back in fashion and so I seems is Brad Pitt. In this slick apocalyptic story of an ex-(oh I won’t give it away) turned family man dragged back work to try and save them and the world from destruction.
OK we have seen, Bruce Willis, Will Smith, Tom Cruise, Arnold Schwarzenegger, etc. do similar jobs under similar circumstances so why shouldn’t Brad Pitt have a go.
In the hands of Marc Forster, with an impressive and eclectic list of titles to his name, Monster’s Ball, Quantum of Solace, Stranger Than Fiction and The Kite Runner to name but a few) no time is wasted plunging Brad, his wife (Mireille Enos from The Killing) and family into the middle of mayhem that engulfs the world in an impressive matter of seconds.
Most of what we see here will not be new to fans of Zombie/apocalyptic/dystopian world films and it is not without fault. A few clunky plot devices and obvious characters introduced just to die and mess up Brad’s plans are scattered throughout. It seems that no one told the hairstylist that bangs only really look good on women.
We have seen end of the world scenarios managed from the military point of view eg. Armageddon, from the family point of view eg. War Of The Worlds but this is more like I am Legend except that Pitt is the family man with some Military backing and Forster strikes the balance evenly. The confusion and fear that spreads around the world seeps nicely into each scene making the atmosphere chokingly close, we are given as much information as the characters in the plot about how this started and how to handle it. The filmmakers neither treat the audience like idiots not do they blind us with science. Even though you can’t really do much with Zombies, they manage to develop them a little, as in the longer you are a Zombie the more they look like the emaciated victim in the bed from Seven.
I have said before that Brad Pitt has not successfully carried a film and seems better suited to his excellent list of supporting characters but he manages to disprove this little theory of mine. Throughout the film he remains the devoted family man without it ever becoming too schmaltzy.
I would urge you to watch this in the cinema as you will miss some of the massive scale set pieces on a small screen.
(Warning: spoilers discussed in the comments below!)