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The problem with media blitzes for new blockbuster movies is that you know so many things you actually don’t want to know. What if I had never about and read the book on which it was based?  What if I never learned about the apparently slightly amateurish efforts of the Plan B production team to get that film off the ground? What if I never heard that there was a showdown on Moscow’s Red Square all filmed and edited, then dumped and changed into a “The Thing”’ish WHO lab claustrophobia with Zombies segment?

For once, I did not mind the deviation from the book. I think it was the right choice to take the core idea suggested in the book (world population more or less eliminated by Zombie outbreak) and make something out of it. The film zombies are fast, not slow, there is a hero, there maybe even is a proper countermeasure (that last one was a bit cheap…) … all that does do no harm in a movie. As an entertainment product, the book may be more interesting, but then again, it does not come with popcorn and air condition, so there is room for both.

There are scenes that are spectacular and admirable: the attack on Jerusalem in particular, how the Zombie masses when triggered turn into outright waves of movement, floating around the corners and over walls just like they were an incoming tsunami. Brad Pitt is handsome as ever, and even manages to look a bit helpless at times, which is always a good thing to do for somebody who will later save the world.

It is weird, however, how after the Jerusalem outbreak (or maybe during the flight out of Jerusalem) this film suddenly ends and decides to become a different animal. Why would you start in ferocious speed and then hit the breaks just when you established how well you can do mass effects? Even Peter Capaldi could not save the lab scenes from being… sorry … boring. I wanted to see more ideas on how the Zombie assault would play out, and how humanity fought back. And they completely denied me this. A very weird choice whether you know of the late rewrites and reshoots or not.

As most reviewers wrote: given the circumstances, the film is surprisingly not-terrible. But dammit! It looked as if it could have been borderline awesome…

One Comment

  1. Excellent review, sounds like we stand at about the same level here with how jipped we felt at the ending. I too thought the Jersulam/plane scenes were quite good. Then, well. . . . . ..

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