The trailer: The big-screen adaptation of Max Brooks' bestselling zombie novel, World War Z, is finally due to hit screens on June 21 — and it's been a bumpy ride getting there. World War Z has endured a famously troubled production; the film was delayed for six months for "significant reshoots," and star Brad Pitt and director Marc Forster allegedly weren't even on speaking terms by the end of the production. The film's new trailer attempts to prove that all the extra production time resulted in the awesome movie that fans have been dreaming of — but with just a few months until the film's release, it's still not clear if they've succeeded. (Watch the new World War Z trailer below.) This new trailer focuses on Pitt's globetrotting lead character, and offers a only a few glimpses of the film's massive zombie hordes. Does the new World War Z trailer rise to the occasion, or is this film about the undead dead on arrival?
The reaction: This new trailer looks like "a blend of 28 Days Later and Zero Dark Thirty," says James White at Empire Online, as Pitt's character collaborates with the United Nations to solve the pandemic while "huge swaths of the planet's population fall victim to the growing terror." And the clip "deliberately positions World War Z as a globe-trotting adventure-thriller, not the umpteenth genre zombie flick," says Amy Nicholson at ScreenRant. The focus isn't on the zombies; it's on "mankind's fatal crisis," which makes this look like less of a zombie/horror flick and more of a "straight pandemic movie." But will audiences who aren't familiar with Max Brooks' novel even understand what's going on? "It's odd that they refuse to say the word 'zombie' anywhere, especially since not every audience member is going to get the title's meaning right away," says Drew McWeeny at HitFix. Because the trailer fails to clearly establish the zombie apocalypse premise, World War Z just looks like it contains "lots and lots of CGI figures swarming like ants, and a buttload of Brad Pitt reaction shots" — and it's going to take more than that to attract audiences when the film is released in June.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Here comes the Pentagon's newest space plane
- Let us now praise Billy Joel
- 3 horrific inaccuracies in Homeland's depiction of Islamabad
- Extreme haunted houses: Inside Halloween's most terrifying new trend
- How 1,000-year lifespans could remake the economy
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 10 things you need to know today: October 25, 2014
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- Everything you need to know about the voter ID controversy
Subscribe to the Week