Marc Forster clearly made an effort to avoid beating a dead horse with his first venture in...to the zombie genre. Weather or not this movie succeeded in that regard is up for debate. I would have to say that it did. It looked more like a thriller than a horror or sci-fi flick, and that is a good thing. It was a lot more than a bunch of people running from flesh eating zombies. There was a legit plot line at work here.
The movie starts just as the initial zombie outbreak occurs. These are viral zombies, like in 28 Days Later, which I find a lot more believable than the classic undead zombies. Let's face it, if we ever have a zombie apocalypse, it will be caused by a rapid, wide spread viral outbreak, which is the case in this movie.
Brad Pitt plays Gerry Lane, A retired United Nations employee who is now a devoted father and husband. When the zombie-pocalypse begins, Gerry gets in touch with some former associates inside the government in an attempt to find safety for him and his family. After some pretty nice action/suspense sequences, they all end up on a ship out in the middle of the ocean, where Gerry learns that his family will be able to stay only if he helps find the source of the outbreak.
The acting is very good in this movie. First of all, there is Brad Pitt of course, who is always great. I don't know if anybody else could have played this character and made him feel human. He was what all us men aspire to be; brave, compassionate, aggressive, and desperately trying to take care of his family. Pitt sells every bit of Gerry Lane and turns in a very sympathetic performance.
Someone who is going to be overlooked in this film is Mireille Enos, who plays Gerry's wife Karen. I had no idea who she was but she was pretty terrific.
While I like what they did with this story for the most part, there is one thing that happens pretty early on that didn't seem to make any sense to me. If you watch the movie you'll definitly notice it and probably scratch your head. Some of the plot got a little fuzzy at times with some confusing dialogue here and there. I almost got a little lost a couple times. Overall it was a pretty well written story for a movie like this, more so than I would have expected. Without spoiling anything, I really liked how they decided to try and resolve the situation. Brad Pitt has this idea all at once, kind of like an epiphany, and he thinks back to all the things that have happened that have supported this idea. In a way, the idea he had made some logical sense. That was refreshing to see.
The zombie effects were also a high point for me. They were actually pretty scary and threatening. At no point in the movie did the audience ever laugh at
something the zombies did, which is rare in this type of film. There were a few really breathtaking CGI scenes, like the one from the trailer where all the zombies are climbing on each other to get over that wall. There were good action sequences and some very suspensful quiet scenes in which somebody was trying to sneak around the zombies. It made the creatures seem more threatening that they didn't just charge head on and take them out like we have seen in a lot of these type of movies. The whole thing had a very realistic feel to it.
I disliked the ending a lot. I had an ending in my head that I wanted and they went a completely different way. It almost seemed to me like they ran out of time and just had to go ahead and rap it up. It didn't make any sense. The whole movie was paced really well and then the ending was rushed. I was very disappointed in that.
To sum up, it was a solid movie. It was probably the best Marc Forster movie I have seen. It was suspensful and scary and everything you want a thriller to be. Even if your not typically a fan of the zombie horror genre, I think you may like this movie. The Movie Man gives it 3.5 out of 5 stars.
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