World War Z – Movie Review


I really enjoyed Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.  Aside from the British humor, there was the notion of the Infinite Improbability Drive, which worked out essentially by thinking how improbable a thing might be, feed the figure into the drive, and presto!  The Improbable happens.

And so it goes with Brad Pitt’s much more seriously toned Zombie movie.  I guess it could have been humorous, but Zombieland has already been made.

Gerry Lane, our protagonist, is the beneficiary of the the script writer’s Improbability Pen.  Need two dots connected?  The IP makes it happen.  And so it is that Brad Pitt (there’s not a moment during the movie where I think of him by his character’s name, and it must confuse the cast as well because they keep asking who he is as well) runs faster than speeding zombies, becomes stronger than steel (airplanes, cars, or related punctures), and leaps continents in single bounds. 

Who is this guy?

Well, he’s... improbable.  But, the world is lucky to have him.  Consider:

  • The dump truck that allows Brad to breeze through otherwise blocked Philadelphia streets.
  • A collective family “Gosh, none of us were injured!” after the resulting vehicle smashup.
  • The kind-hearted pharmacist who dispenses asthma medications among mass looting and Z-terror.
  • The improbable mile of open green space that’s free of zombies between the pharmacy and the nearest high rise apartment complex.
  • Happening upon the one family in Philadelphia that opens its doors to strangers and feeds them. 
  • The wife who thought it wise to grab flares from the Recreational Vehicle, facilitating a rooftop helicopter rescue a few scenes later.
  • A jailed and mysterious CIA traitor in Korea who points our savior to Israel for answers, just after the trip became pointless.
  • A team of soldiers willing to risk their lives for our protagonist who is imminently qualified to save the world.  A former United Nations investigator and a non-biologist... now that’s someone worth dying for in a Zombie pandemic.
  • Like in Philadelphia, being the one person in Jerusalem who witnesses and survives the breech of Zombies into the walled city.  Okay, there’s 2 actually, or, 1.95 anyway.

While we’re at it, how improbable is it that a virus changes a person in 12 seconds to the extent that they become disfigured, brainless, superfast, and immune to almost every form of bodily harm except head shots or, we assume, falls from airplanes?  Yeah, I know. They’re zombies.  But in 12 seconds?   If it wasn’t so fast, I guess it couldn’t be a sudden worldwide outbreak.

Speaking of which, how improbable is it that a virus which takes 12 seconds to propagate is able to cross the ocean in the first place?    Or makes it to all continents at essentially the same time?  Zombie pilots retain their skills, perhaps?   I continue:

  • Surviving a major airplane crash that smashes the plane into bits, except the one section Brad sits in.  Granted, he fastened his seat belt, which he improbably did during cabin depressurization.
  • Being perceptive enough to save humanity with a solution that educated, professional biologists at the World Health Organization scientists seemed to miss.
  • Surviving a toxic injection of a randomly chosen lethal pathogen (so that zombies are not attracted to host bodies that are dead-ends), but apparently counting on an antidote that does not return one’s status to a suitable Zombie Snack.   Ugh.

Brad is certainly the protagonist.   He puts himself at risk.  He makes good decisions.  He saves the girl. He observes things that lead to a solution. 

On the other hand, there’s his family.  Perhaps they add more tension in the opening scenes of “What would you do if your family was threatened?”  But, they really have no role in the movie except “motivation.”   It turns out that Brad isn’t willing to save the world... until his family is threatened with being voted off the island.    How noble is that?

2 of 5 STARS



(I subtracted one star for the environmentalist propaganda that we are the root cause of our demise).


  1. Interesting. I'll stick with Omega Man. ;-)

  2. Well, I definitely liked it more than you did. Hated Brad's family in the movie, though; completely useless. Also, if you're going to hire the Emmy winning star of "Lost" to be in your movie, give him some lines! And maybe an actual character name, rather than "air jumper".


  3. Wanted to read your review, but don't want to have it be a spoiler. Uh will it be?

  4. There's less blood and more brains (put to use in the making of the film, rather than being munched on...), and it feels more streamlined than some of this summer's more bloated entries.