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World War Z Review Roundup: Critics Pan Pitt Film, Despite Spectacle [TRAILER]

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First Posted: Jun 18, 2013 06:17 PM EDT



It's the summertime, and that means a whole laundry list of big blockbusters are now coming to theaters for your entertainment pleasure. One of the most notable films is "World War Z," which stars Brad Pitt in a story based around the ever-popular concept of a zombie apocalypse.

The premise is fairly straightforward. A U.N. worker must travel around the world attempting to cure a disease that is wreaking havoc on the population, turning everyone into zombies that are crippling society. Make the U.N worker a genius played by Brad Pitt, throw in the subplot of him protecting his loved ones, and you've got yourself a movie. Problem is, that's about all it is.

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Despite the seemingly sure-fire subject matter of zombies ushering in the end of the world, "World War Z" has so far received, at best, mixed reviews. Critics point to the movie's lack of sufficient plot and character development, and its over-reliance on grandiose images, as the main reason for its underwhelming delivery.

"World War Z" tries its hardest to tap into the zeitgeist of super-viruses and mega-bacteria that sweeps the global consciousness on a seemingly weekly basis, but for all its impressive shots of zombies invading the Taj Mahal, it doesn't manifest our fears nearly as well as, say, "Contagion" or "I Am Legend," notes movie critic Alonso Duralde.

When the critics are not being ambivalent about the merits of "World War Z," the reviews only get worse. An especially large focus has been targeted on Brad Pitt's character, Gerry Lane. There have been numerous complaints that Lane knows an unbelievable amount of fortuitously useful information, and that everything fits together too easily for him.

"So once you figure out the first rule of Zombie Fight Club -- nothing too bad can happen to Brad Pitt -- the movie is, despite intermittent thrills, rote. There are several intense chases and some dazzling trailer-bait set pieces such as one on a jet. But stapling together trailer moments does not a movie make," observes Kyle Smith of the New York Post.

Again, the emphasis is placed on the film's usage of mesmerizing scenes to mask an emotional backdrop that is not fully developed. It appears to be a common theme for the movie and an unsurprising consequence of its roughly $200 million budget in a time dominated by recycled themes and endless sequels.

"World War Z" has already premiered in London and will be available to theater-goers this upcoming weekend, starting Jun. 21. Despite the generally poor reviews, it is expected to be a significant draw at the movie theaters due to the large success of T.V. shows such as "The Walking Dead" and video games like "The Last of Us."

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