Having said that, there's a lot to recommend spending a couple of hours watching Brad Pitt jet around the world with great difficulty trying to solve the Zombie Apocalypse. This isn't Brad in full-on charm mode, or even particularly acting. If anything, having such a big star seems a little odd for such an everyman role (even if said Everyman is a super competent former UN Special Investigator dude). But hell, I was won over by this film the second Mireille Enos announced "I picked up flares" and pointed out a handy helicopter landing spot. Oh my god, a normal couple actually working together, being sensible in the face of the Zombie Apocalypse and taking turns to be quietly awesome with hardly any dumb rescue scenes. You never see that in these films. Given that it starts with one of those tooth-achingly annoying 'perfect family' scenes right at the start, it could have gone very, very wrong. Brad does of course get marked down for not looking where he's going whilst driving a car very fast through a Zombie Panic but, y'know, it all evens out.[Spoiler (click to open)]In fact, once they're done keeping their own kids safe, Brad & Mireille then go start adopting other war orphans[Spoiler (click to open)](and that article about how WWZ is a very obvious metaphor for Brad Pitt's real life - where the zombies are actually paparazzi and the triumph of the third act is that everyone ignores him - is too on the nail to ignore really).
This film kinda pushes my buttons because most of the characters are sensible, pretty competent and - even better - don't need to be rescued. Or if they are being rescued, it's probably by someone whose life they already saved about ten seconds ago. Or they just quietly sacrifice themselves for the greater good, but it's not exactly played for OTT sentimentality, more to hone the sense that the Zombie Horde has overwhelmed them like pretty much everythig else in its path. It has quirk - bicycles! inopportune phones ringing! random Welshness! - and the visuals are pretty fabulous. It also manages to avoid the urge to pile on the sentimentality at every turn, but - and this is unheard of for a zombie film - also doesn't leave you inherently depressed about the world ending. 28 Days Later kind of pulls it off, but soo much trauma beforehand! Even Shaun of the Dead is a bit too much of a downer for me (although weirdly, I can cope with it in books: The Reapers Are The Angels and White Horse are two of my favourite post-apocalyptic and they're both zombie-fied).[Spoiler (click to open)]I can just about cope with the Dawn of the Dead remake but I have to intensely ignore the very end where practically everyone croaks. I keep trying with The Walking Dead, and at some point I will finish season two, but I seriously don't have that much time in my life to devote to something that depressing.