Monday, February 11, 2013
World War Z, the movie.
Link to the trailer.
I enjoyed the book, but am dreading this movie. The book just seems so filmable – it's all broken out into neat looking-back episodes linked by one interviewer, and it all knits back together into a larger tale of despair and triumph. That's a pretty cool literary trick to pull off in an over-worked pop monster genre. There's even enough material for a sequel or two.
So why turn it into a Brad Pitt vehicle? I mean, you could take just any old zombie story, stick Pitt's face on it, and have your summer thriller right there. This is shaping up the same way I, Robot and Starship Troopers did a few years ago: "Hey, we just acquired rights to a top-notch book. I know, let's junk the story, keep the name, and plug in some hack writing! For no apparent reason!!! It'll be cool." After all, those boring movies where they stick to the book never make any money, right Peter Jackson? And just look at how those follow-the-book Harry Potter movies all flopped.
Prediction: it'll be an overall middlin' not-quite blockbuster, open and close in about a month, and be largely forgotten by fall. Residual fondness for the book, plus a big name and flashy effects will make for a weekend or two of box office sales, but without the original story it won't have any legs.
Because it's the story that gives a movie legs. They had a great tale to start with here. By the looks of that trailer, this one hasn't been improved a bit by the production meat grinder.
Or hell, I could be wrong about all this and it'll turn out to be a great classic for the ages. Meh, it's only a zombie book.
ps: ooooh, re-written by the same guy who screenwrote Prometheus. This is looking really bad.