World War Z

Rated 2.0

A former special agent for the United Nations (Brad Pitt) is called back into service to investigate a mysterious pestilence that has infected the entire world, turning hundreds of millions of victims into—wait for it—rabid zombies. Based on the mockumentary novel by Max Brooks (son of Mel and Anne Bancroft) and directed by Marc Forster, the movie's too-many-cooks roster of writers (Matthew Michael Carnahan, Drew Goddard, Damon Lindelof and J. Michael Straczynski) gives testimony to production problems and frantic reshoots that ballooned the budget from $125 million to $200 million. The end result is a mixed bag; Pitt makes a deft thinking-man's action hero and Forster stages some effective scenes, but too often—especially in the hasty, anticlimactic ending—the movie stumbles into unintentional comedy.