Film review: World War Z starring Brad Pitt

Undated Film Still Handout from World War Z. Pictured: MIREILLE ENOS as Karin (centre left), STERLIN

Undated Film Still Handout from World War Z. Pictured: MIREILLE ENOS as Karin (centre left), STERLING JERINS as Connie, and BRAD PITT (centre right) as Gerald Lane. See PA Feature FILM Pitt. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Paramount Pictures UK. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature FILM Pitt. - Credit: PA

It may not be perfect but World War Z certainly cannot be accused of false advertising – basically, Brad Pitt flies around the globe fighting zombies.

A rapidly-spreading virus has consumed Earth. In fact, once bitten, it takes victims just 12 seconds to turn into speedy frenzied animals, meaning that busy public areas are filled with monsters in a matter of moments – which happens a lot, producing some visually impressive set pieces.

Pitt plays Gerry Lane, a former UN investigator who is forced to come out of retirement and aid the cause in exchange for the military keeping his family safe at sea.

First, the good news. The action moves along at a good pace, which is important given the obvious danger of the headline ‘World War Zzzzz’.

Indeed, by the end of his adventure, Lane has been attacked in Philadelphia, South Korea, Jerusalem and, oddly, Cardiff, while also finding himself in a brief spin-off of Snakes on a Plane in transit.

There are enough sudden surprises for those who like the adrenaline surge of an abrupt zombie appearance in 3D, and there some surprising laughs too. A scientist who is hailed as the world’s great hope makes an amusingly early exit, and Lane receives an unfortunately-timed phone call from his wife at an anxious moment when silence is golden.

On the other hand, World War Z bites off more than it can chew, asking questions that it never answers. It seems that the initial plan was too big, and that the film runs out of time - in fact it ends with the line: “This isn’t the end, not even close.”

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It certainly feels that way and, if a story is supposed to have a beginning, a middle and an end, then World War Z probably scores one out of three.

However, that central part is good fun - a rapidly-moving mixture of action and tension. It does what it says on the tin, and if anyone is hugely disappointed then the reasonable question is: what did you expect?

Running time: 116 minutes

Category: 15

Date of release: June 21