I love World War Z. Absolutely love it. It is inventive and offers a unique look at what a post-zombie apocalypse world could be like and how the end of the world could come to pass. Never before have I been sucked in to something quite like I was sucked into World War Z.

To be clear, I’m talking about the book.

Max Brooks’s zombie masterpiece is told as a series of oral histories. His character – which is a hypothetical future version of himself – is going around the world interviewing people some time after humanity has turned the tides against the zombie hordes and begun to reestablish itself. Each character has a unique story and they vary in age, gender, location, and importance. Characters range from a soldier on the frontlines at the beginning to a woman who was just a small child traveling to the far northern reaches in search of safety. The book sees the end of hostilities in Israel and Palestine conflict through mutual disdain for being eaten and hard choices made by hard men in South Africa. The depth and breadth of the book really cannot be over estimated.

Ever since they made it known that a movie was being made I knew I was going to be at least somewhat disappointed. And it certainly was not going to be a direct adaptation. Unless they were going to do a Band of Brothers style mockumentary miniseries, it just wasn’t going to be the same. The audiobook is really the closest we’ll ever get to a real adaptation of that book (and the audiobook with it’s full cast is absolutely amazing).

Does this trailer look awesome?

Of course it does. Look at those hordes. Look at those explosions. It looks awesome. But it doesn’t look like World War Z. It looks like any other high budget action movie; just this one is trying to capitalize on the zombie craze.

So let’s make some notes about this trailer.

  1. Where did that truck come from? At 0:20 you see a motorcycle cop go through a narrow gap between Brad Pitt’s car and the next lane of cars. At 0:37 another motorcycle cop struggles to get through that same gap. And then a second later, A TRUCK BARRELS THROUGH WITH NO PROBLEM. It’s not pushing cars out of the way. It just rams the cop and continues on it’s merry way, taking out one car at the intersection.
  2. Why is that man flying!? Okay, so, yes, I’ve since realized that it’s a zombie jumping from the top of a car. But the first time I saw the guy at 0:56 go flying through the air I really thought they were just screwing with us and concepts of physics in general.
  3. Really? The Jamboree? I’m just saying. In this situation, I’m not going to hope that the decades old camper is going to reliably get me and my family out of the zombie apocalypse and on to safety.
  4. We’re Going to Steal the Declaration of Independence! Or at least safeguard it. That was actually very smart. Gotta preserve history. Even if no one is around to know what any of it means or appreciate it.
  5. The Population Loss Bar. I think this was quite clever. I don’t think people the immensity of the zombie horde as a collective world wide. I think that shows quite clearly just how many people you’re dealing with now being undead more than even these shots of thousands of half naked bodies storming barricades does.
  6. Brad Pitt can apparently fly? He has to get into the helicopter somehow…
  7. Zombie Physics. Is anyone else just… does anyone else feel like there’s something off about the way the zombies move? They seem too fast. And I just don’t think human bodies can withstand the sort of damage that would occur when you move like that. Even if they can’t feel pain, etc.

All right, so, yes, secretly I am very excited to see this movie. But that’s because I love pretty much anything zombie related in general. And I can hope that somehow they really have tied in the original aspect of the movie. What I am hoping they have done is they have established the whole movie as an interview with Brad Pitt’s character and so in that way they at least give a brief nod to the original work.

If you haven’t read World War Z, I recommend it. I more than recommend it. If I could make it required reading for everyone I would. And certainly don’t think that you’ll get the story if you skip it and watch the movie. Because the movie is clearly something completely different all together.

World War Z (the film) is slated for release on June 21, 2013 – the same day as Disney’s Monsters University.

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