The book “World War Z” was so promising: Through various viewpoints from around the world, Max Brooks told a comprehensive story of a zombie pandemic — a subtle critique on international relations, an entertaining character study and a clever, detailed depiction of an alternate timeline.

World War Z

Paramount


So it’s even more disappointing that the trailer for the upcoming film adaptation hints at none of that — especially with director Marc Foster and Brad Pitt in a leading role.

Unfortunately, “World War Z” suffers from a fairly predictable flaw that may doom the entire movie. As the clips continue, and we see civilization overrun with fast, speedy zombies, a concern grows: What do the zombies even look like?

The camera almost never lingers on one specific undead, instead panning over a writhing mass of bodies — one that seems phony and entirely computer-generated.

This shortcoming causes a serious rift. The zombies don’t ever seem scary, because they never really seem dead. The sole time we see an attacker up close, as Brad Pitt and family boards an escaping helicopter, he seems to simply be a belligerent, but very much living, person. Where are the thrills in that?

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