Brad Pitt’s latest movie, World War Z, takes advantage of the apocalyptic craze that is upon us, showcasing a fast-paced thriller that utilises jaw-dropping locations (Israel anyone?) with impressive special effects.

Set in present day, World War Z follows Gerry Lane, a former UN employee (and by that I mean a former UN employee who worked as a badarse around the world under siege and during war), and his family, who are able to escape Philadelphia after the city is overtaken by hordes of zombies, thanks to Lane’s connections.  They are extracted to a US Navy vessel whether they are to remain safely, except with one catch; despite retiring, Lane is forced to help find the outbreak of the virus that is causing people to turn into zombies.

Of course, things never go smoothly when the walking undead is also close at hand (and ready to eat you), and since this is a film that focuses 50% of screenplay and 50% of special effects and obscure locations, Lane is forced to endure zombie armies, a plane crash, and a heck of a lot of violence…all in far-flung places around the world.

World War Z had a huge build-up before it was finally released, so although I knew it was going to be a blockbuster in the truest sense of the world (“Bang, Bang!  Let’s make ourselves half a billion dollars”), I still had relatively high expectations.  Considering it had been in the making since 2007, cost $190 million to make, and had roped in both Brad Pitt and his production company, Plan B Entertainment, I expected results.  And despite the fact that the entire storyline was based on the idea that half the population had turned into zombies…my expectations were met.

And apparently, for everyone else too, considering it’s already bought in over $456 million.

While the writing wasn’t exceptional, and Brad Pitt has delivered far better performances during his career, neither failed to meet the requirements of what they had to do for this film.  It’s a film about zombies for crying out loud.  And although the overall storyline was basic to the point of simplistic, I actually thought it was a welcome change from all those action films that include 40 characters, 17 twists and at least two people who only kind of die.  After all, when I go to see a blockbuster, I expect to switch off my brain and enjoy things being blown up for two hours.  And really, is there anything too awful about that wish?

In this regard, World War Z fulfilled what it needed to fulfil.  We quickly learnt that the zombies are affected, and attracted to, loud sounds, and after a few hints throughout the first half of the film, we learn that the sick, dying or elderly are essentially ‘invisible’ to them.  Not outlandish, not hard to follow and best of all, believable (or as believable as a film about zombies can be).

Furthermore, despite Lane’s apparent ease at taking control of any situation, even when he has half an aeroplane wing protruding out of his stomach (I may be exaggerating somewhat here), I still found him likeable, particularly alongside his new found righthand woman (yes, you read that right), Segen.

While on the topic of Segen, I found it so refreshing that an action film, with Brad Pitt in it no less, had a strong female character that was neither unrealistic (as an Israeli soldier she was more than capable of the feats that she undertook), nor…sexy.  Don’t get me wrong, Segen was still conventionally attractive, but thankfully, director Marc Forster didn’t think it was necessary for her to lose her shirt, or have her arse on show for the majority of the film.  And what a relief at that, because it meant I could spend less time looking at boobs and more time taking in the zombies.

And what zombies they were.  The special effects of this film were amazing, and while they included fights, plane crashes, so on and so forth, it were the zombies that were most impressive, whether they were up close and personal, or as one great mass, scaling the walls of Israel, or coming in droves like a river down a busy Philadelphia street.

While World War Z isn’t going to achieve anything that a movie hasn’t achieved before, and while I didn’t go home to bed terrified that a zombie was going to eat my brains, it was an entertaining, engaging film that, for two hours at least, convinced me that zombies were upon us, and truly, Brad Pitt was the only one who could save us all.

Have you seen World War Z?  What did you think?  Let me know!