All blockbusters these days arrive in theaters with an avalanche of a backstory, but the one for “World War Z” is richer than most.
During production, the film’s budget ballooned to (reportedly) more than $200 million; it endured massive reshoots and was eventually stitched together to combine the visions of no fewer than four writers. But the important question is, is the film worth watching, or is it destined to be known more by its troubled history than its future at the box office?
Critics thus far have been divided about the film’s merits, with some calling it engaging and sharp and others dismissing it as slick and superficial. MTV News assembled a roundup of some of the reactions critics have published on the Web so fans have something in mind when they decide which movies to see in theaters this weekend.
“At its best, ’World War Z’ treads in territory much like Steven Soderbergh’s ’Contagion’ but when it covers territory that’s already been well covered in films like Danny Boyle’s ’28 Days Later’ it feels somewhat redundant.” — Ed Douglas, Comingsoon.net
“There are palpable moments of terror, but once we’ve seen the flesh-eating hordes up close, it’s hard not to laugh at their goggly eyes, incessant jerking and hideous gnashing teeth.” — Claudia Puig, USA Today
The Gross-Out Factor
“The dangers maintain a relatively innocuous feel, partly because the movie’s so aggressively PG-13: There’s little in the way of gore or other grotesque imagery to imbue the situation with bonafide terror. Merciful cutaways abound — you never really see any of these suckers take a bullet to the head — nor does anybody swear that often. In its quest to smarten up the genre, the filmmakers also stiffen it.” — Eric Kohn, Indiewire
Brad Pitt, The Hero
“Pitt pours himself physically into the role, but there’s not much meat for him to attack dramatically. The character reminded me on more than one occasion of Tom Hanks’ Vatican expert in those Dan Brown movies: Both men jump to brilliant conclusions with the tiniest amounts of evidence, and neither of them has a haircut that’s flattering to any adult male.” — Alonso Duralde, The Wrap
“I suppose there’s something powerful about using a travelogue to chronicle a zombie outbreak, but especially when you can accomplish all of the same goals in a shopping mall, or even in one boarded up house — with memorable characters and clear thematic underpinnings, no less — ’World War Z’ feels like an excessively over-designed journey that doesn’t take its audience nearly far enough.” — Todd Gilchrist, Spinoff Online
Check out everything we’ve got on “World War Z.”