Paramount this week released a one-sentence synopsis for the Brad Pitt-starring film adaptation of Max Brooks' zombie novel World War Z, the "oral history of the zombie war." If you thought it sounded perhaps too ambitious to try to turn a collection of individual accounts into a big-budget feature film, you think a lot like Paramount; here's what their synopsis said:
The story revolves around United Nations employee Gerry Lane (Pitt), who traverses the world in a race against time to stop the Zombie pandemic that is toppling armies and governments and threatening to decimate humanity itself.
Not surprisingly, the many World War Z fans on the internet shat a collective brick over what they perceived as a desecration of the beloved source material. The general reaction seems to be this: what is the point of optioning a particularly distinctive, quite popular zombie book just to turn it into what sounds like a generic zombie film?
Indeed, if Paramount's abstract captures the whole picture of the picture — and I would caution people to remember that this single sentence might not be able to capture the whole scope — it does sound a bit ho-hum. Not that it couldn't be a good, if predictable, zombie flick. It just wouldn't really capture what made World War Z the book so enticing to its following. But in truth? World War Z just shouldn't be a movie. There is simply too much: too many characters, too many locations, too many tiny pieces that combine to make the big picture so compelling. The movie was a terrible idea from the start; this is simply the moment when the naive hope that it could work starts to fade.