World Wa… No. Superpitt Saves The World
I don’t normally blog about movies but there was no way I could miss this one after all the promotion, problems (i.e. promotion), after the big “Noooo!” on finding out that the only common thing between the movie and the novel was in the title, after hours of heated debate and after I got over the Noooo! So I thought I’d throw in my share of comments because I laughed my ass off. Since I got over the Nooo! I won’t be mentioning the book; there’s no logical reason to do so, no place for comparison. I want to make it clear from the start, however, that I’m not a huge fan of Brad Pitt, so his presence in the feature was an advance warning for me. No, look, I respect him as an actor, I do, he’s just not my type, right? Okay. So long as that’s clear. Besides, this film did not exactly offer much in the way of serious dramatic performance, so the man didn’t have to put in too much effort. No problem, just not my type.
Number two on my neat list is the statement that I fully and completely understand the people who liked the film. I really understand. Top-speed action, sitting at the edge of the seat, now and then fighting for breath together with the characters, I understand. It’s Action. I’m a peaceful sort of person, however, and this sort of dynamic moving pictures is definitely not my cuppa, especially when one of the purposes of the frantic movement is to conceal any potentially scary shots (a very big Booo from me), because, you know, a PG-13 is a PG-13, the colossal budget should generate proportional return, you know. In short, less Action and more plot development for me, thank you. This is the place to say, on the other hand, that the first Big Panic scene was great. it really was. The second great thing was the David Morse appearance. Totally brilliant scene.
Most of the time I had the nagging feeling I was watching a number of other films. Starting with the opening scene — the title. Save the colour or lack thereof, the whole thing was lifted from Cronenberg’s 1983 Dead Zone. I caught it not because I’m particularly good at remembering things I’ve watched (you should see my brother-in-law, it’s scary), but because by some strange coincidence, I’d watched The Dead Zone a couple of days earlier. And then it unfolded. A summary of my inner running commentary follows.
Wait, wasn’t than from 28 Days Later? No, wait, that’s from Outbreak. No, it’s 28 Days Later again. Wrong, it’s The Flight of the Living Dead. Cool! Oh, right, 28 Days Later it is. No! Hershel! Wait, not Hershel. Baaah…
Okay, it was very cute how the producers had firmly decided not to take any chances by being original. They played it safe, totally conventional from the opening “Hero has a classic morning experience with two kids jumping on the bed before breakfast” scene, to the “Action, action, action — pause for a glance at the family/closeup of Brad Pitt’s deep blue eyes — action, action, action” beat and finally to the concluding dialogue which, I’m disappointed to say, had no US flag visible anywhere . Or maybe I just didn’t see it. Also cute were all three Big Panic scenes. The guys behind the movie were right in thinking the first one shaped up very well and they probably told themselves “Let’s do it again, but in a different, easily recognisable city!Look how nice the running people look from bird’s eye view!” No. Unfortunately, it loses part of its charm the second time, and the third time it has no charm at all.
Now on to some things I learned from the film. The rabids (these are not zombies in my book and that’s that) may run very fast, but they can’t outrun Brad Pitt (it’s classic, I know, but nice to see it survives in 2013). Even if the disease has spread over 3.5 billion of the world’s population (as the obligatory counter just below the US map with the spreading red spots indicated), one (1) immunologist and one (1) Brad Pitt (I never got exactly what his work for the UN entailed, except that it was something military-like and highly risky, of course. Couldn’t be bothered to focus more than that) got sent to another continent to find patient zero. And find him they did, of course (Now, here I have to admit that I was wrong; a friend corrected me that the guy they found wasn’t patient zero. Alright, then, patient one). Moving on. When a hand is amputated the bleeding stops within 20minutes, no tourniquet necessary (and don’t tell me that he made a tourniquet, because he didn’t). Such immediate amputation (and how long does ‘immediate’ take, eh?) is efficient against a virus that kills the body within 12 seconds. It’s fairly possible this is actually plausible, but for me it wasn’t. The Israelis, who had built a huge wall around their country to stop the rabids — which suggests they had quite a lot of information about them and the resources to process it appropriately — had no idea that sound attracts the ugly things. If I was Israel, I’d be offended, honestly. And, finally, everyone in the WHO laboratory in Wales wears a woolen sweater. Neat. And then He Saved the World Single-Handedly.
PS And the running camera. Can’t abide it, won’t abide it.
PPS They could’ve at least used some imagination in the matter of where Saviour Pitt’s Body is pierced by the whatever part of the plane it was that pierced him. Do not steal from your betters.
A good parody, overall.