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World War Z trailer launches, unfortunately

By Doug Groves on 9 Nov 2012

After moving back the release of World War Z from December to the summer of 2013, it’s not surprising that the trailer is getting a lot of buzz.  Too bad that before the end of the first minute of the trailer, I already didn’t give a crap.

The trailer opens with Brad Pitt and his family stuck in NYC gridlock.  Every lane is packed with cars, and Brad Pitt gets out to see what’s going on.  There’s an explosion far up ahead… so far so good.  Something ominous, and unexplained fireworks in downtown NYC always creates filmic tension.

A motorcycle cop comes riding down between the packed lanes of cars, to tell Pitt to get in his car, when he’s suddenly hit from behind by a garbage truck moving at what appears to be about60 Kmh.

That’s when I tuned out.

Why is that?

They’ve already shown the street behind Pitt’s car, multiple times in that first minute, and all lanes are completely blocked… impeding any fast moving garbage truck.

They’ve also shown that the street ends in a T section, about 7 car lengths back from the Pitt family car.

In fact, RIGHT BEFORE the cop gets hit (about 2 seconds in movie time), they actually have a shot of the street behind Pitt as he gets in his car.  All lanes are full, and there is no garbage truck in sight, even though the viewer can see to the end of the block.

For this to work, we have to believe, in the course of about two seconds, a whole lane of cars disappears, a garbage truck rounds the corner, and manages to pick up speed to hit about 70 kmh.  This isn’t the kind of nonsense that it takes repeated viewing to “unearth”.  It’s right up there on the screen, and even IF the viewer doesn’t know right away why the scene plays as fake, it still comes across that way.

All this before we even see a single zombie.  When we DO get to see the zombies, let’s just say that I’d rather fire up Left 4 Dead than go to the theatre to see WWZ.

It’s not as if I wanted this trailer to be bad.  In fact, everyone here at RGB Filter loves a good zombie story, and we’re all fans of Max Brook’s World War Z, having interviewed him a couple of years ago at Fan Expo.  It’s too bad the film makers didn’t see what Brooks had to say regarding the debate between slow and fast zombies

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  • http://laroquodexperiment.com/hypo/0.1/ Paul Laroquod

    Much as I enjoy a good anti-Hollywood snarkfest (‘yeah, bitch them complacent fuckers out!’) I feel honour-bound to point out that trailers are almost never edited by the actual filmmakers, and that often shots are resequenced for a trailer in a way that it doesn’t really happen in the film. For all we know 2 minutes will pass in the theatre between Pitt getting in the car and the garbage truck flying by, rather than 2 seconds. For all we know, we might be given clues or warning, aural or visual, that the traffic situation has changed behind Pitt’s car. Really I feel it is pointless to vet a trailer for logical consistency. In fact, it really isn’t a good idea to base one’s viewing decisions on trailers at all!

    • Anonymous

      I’d be really surprised if it plays out much differently in the movie.  After all, the dialogue the cop delivers, and his tone, suggests an unbroken stream.
       
      Similarly, if any amount of time passes in the cut and the traffic jam had cleared up, there’s no way the cop would still be yelling at him through the window saying the same thing, as opposed to telling him to move along…
       
      Besides that, ever see a garbage truck pick up speed?  See the length road that it has to get up to speed?  ;)

      • http://laroquodexperiment.com/hypo/0.1/ Paul Laroquod

        Good points, but film being essentially a sleight-of-hand medium in which a lot of the ‘logic’ is accomplished by getting people to look at the hand that isn’t palming the next bit of narrative, I think it’s possible that without necessarily being ironclad logical, the actual sequence might play out in such a way that one is distracted from any inconsistency by some intervening, diversionary event. Of course, I could easily be totally wrong. I just don’t like judging such an edit-dependent scene based on a trailer.

        • http://twitter.com/voroxpete Peter Brunton

           See, I honestly didn’t spot the deal with the garbage truck on first pass (suggesting that the average cinema goer probably won’t either), but I did spot the absolutely hideous special effects.  Honestly, every time actual zombies are on the screen, this film just looks horrible.  I’d heard plenty of rumours of production troubles, and despite what I actually felt was a very strong open, this trailer just drags on, showcasing more and more bad looking footage.

          • http://laroquodexperiment.com/hypo/0.1/ Paul Laroquod

            I felt the ‘wave of zombies’ thing was interesting, conceptually, and might have absolutely kicked ass in script form, but the execution was a little lacking. It felt a bit cartoony in that many-agent-smiths way.

            • Anonymous

              I agree on the ‘cartoony’ part, especially that “wave” that comes tumbling down the street… it’s as if they used a fluid dynamics simulator, then replaces the water voxels with random zombies.

          • Anonymous

            I can forgive the “look” of the zombies for a couple of reasons…

            1) lack of blood is just fine if you’re doing a non-red band trailer
            2) these may not be final renders, needing more texture passes etc.

        • Anonymous

          Maybe they should have avoided that whole scene in the trailer.

          It stood out like a sore thumb to me at least.