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Brad Pitt Takes on the Zombies in World War Z

Move over vampires. The zombies have taken over the asylum. Popular culture’s torrid love affair with all things blood sucking seems to have been superseded another branch of the living dead family. Following the success of Twilight and True Blood, comes a wave of zombie themed horror in 28 Days Later, Resident Evil, The Walking Dead, and now the big budget Hollywood seal of approval in World War Z.

Brad Pitt stars as family man Gerry Lane who takes a short break from the middle class American dream to save the world from a swathe of marauding zombies. Expect dazzling special effects, thunderous action sequences, saccharine family moments, and a gloriously two dimensional plot.

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The film is based on the book, World War Z, An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks, son of Hollywood institution Mel Brooks. The book focuses on a titanic struggle between zombies and humans, but builds a narrative from a selection of individual accounts spanning citizens, military personnel and government officials. The book has been critically acclaimed and moves past the comic book world of zombies vs humans into incisive metaphor and social commentary by exploring contemporary themes in American society like survivalism, isolationism, corruption and short sightedness.

The trailer was released this week to a wave of hype and looks like a formulaic slice of traditional Hollywood blockbuster. Whether the nuances and depth of the original book make it past the editing suite and into the breakneck world of CGI is an open question. Brad seems to be doing a lot of rushing around trying to protect his family while general apocalypse unfolds all around him. What is it with Hollywood and computer generated Armageddon anyway? Floods, aliens, earthquakes, diseases, zombies – anything that is biblical in proportion and expensive in production seems to be a winner.

The film will be released in the summer of 2013

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