I'll start this review with three data points that have a significant impact on my reaction to this film:
- I've not read the Max Brooks novel on which it is read (though I have read a synopsis, which did not impress).
- I have read Brooks's Zombie Survival Guide, and my low opinion of it is the reason point 1 is true.
- I thought the trailers for this film looked awful. In fact, I wouldn't ever have watched it if the DVD hadn't been gifted to me.
Now, bearing in mind that I had very low expectations of this movie, and that I care not at all that it deviates extensively from the book, I found myself tolerably entertained by this big dumb action flick.
And make no mistake that this is an action movie rather than a thriller. There are a few moments that are played for tension, but the script's much more interested in spectacle. Stampedes of people; stampedes of zombies; explosions and shouting and shooting, oh my. These are the film's stock in trade.
Plot-wise, there's not a lot to tell. There's a massive outbreak of the flesh-eating undead, which quickly sweeps the world. Former UN investigator Gerry Lane gets tasked with the job of running around the planet trying to find out where the pathogen came from and how it might be stopped. It must be admitted that the answers he finds probably didn't need all these world-trotting action shenanigans, but let's face it: the answers aren't actually the point here. The shenanigans are.
If you're in the mood for a zombie action movie, and you've mainlined the Resident Evil flicks already, this film may scratch your itch.