Thursday, July 4, 2013

I hate zombies, but went to the zombie movie

Almost two years ago, on our first day in Glasgow, we stepped out of the Queen Street Station and into George Square and saw this.

It was the last day of filming World War Z. The filmmakers were substituting Glasgow for Philadelphia. Banners were strung up, street signs were added.

We did not see Brad Pitt or any of the other actors. Principal shooting was completed. We just saw a few crowd shots. I'm not a zombie fan by any means, but since I saw some filming it went on the 'to see' list.

It was interesting seeing the film and noting what landmarks were altered. The footage was in the first ten minutes of the film as mayhem takes over the streets and the zombies are on the loose. There were explosions, and car crashes. I noticed this bus getting whacked in the film.

The original release date was in the summer of 2012, but that was pushed back a whole year due to internal squabbles and problems with the script. A bit of the ending of the film was reshot, and that shows in the completed work. It seems very tacked on, which is a shame because the film is neither a cinematic turd nor a piece of gold. It has its good moments of zombie attack suspense but it also has some horrible acting. Pitt was fine as the reluctant hero, the actress who played his wife had a thankless part of doing nothing but looking worried at a cell phone (including having her make one phone call that would have been a shaming event at Writers' Block) and the kid actors were not very good.

There was one great product replacement that still has me giggling and my wife reminded me of this video during another crucial scene.

I have not read the Max Brooks book but understand liberties were taken. So many that it barely resembles the finished film. That's Hollywood though. Overall it's a piece of summer entertainment that is worth seeing, if only to escape the local crowds instead of an evening of fireworks.

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