Brad Pitt, World War Z

Jaap Buitendijk/Paramount Pictures

So, just how much of a freak show is World War Z?

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have been busy hitting red carpets all over Europe on behalf of his latest film and they can't help but charm—but early buzz coming from overseas indicated that the movie was not worth its weight in notorious production problems.  

But more early reviews are in and, according to critics, it's a toss-up as to whether you'll want to flock to theaters on June 21 or just sit tight until the next season of The Walking Dead.

Here's a sampling:

World War Z

Paramount Pictures

• "World War Z isn't terrible. Parts are impressive and exciting. But the incredibly long distance it falls short of its source material means it must rank as one of Hollywood's most wasted opportunities,Chris Tookey of the Daily Mail writes (under a headline calling the flick "brain dead," mind you).

• Robbie Collin from The Telegraph was far less kind, writing, "The first problem you encounter with World War Z, the new action blockbuster starring Brad Pitt, is how to pronounce the damn thing. Should the last letter be said 'zee,' to sound like 'three,' or 'zed,' to sound like 'dead,' or 'zzz,' to sound like the audience?" Ultimately he called it "a collection of moderately violent action set-pieces untroubled by humour or broader coherence."

World War Z Trailer

Courtesy of Youtube

• "While date-night thrill-seekers should be amply satisfied by this ramrod, pedal-to-the-metal confrontation with a zombie plague, fans of Max Brooks' 2006 best-seller will find much to be disappointed in," writes  The Hollywood Reporter's Todd McCarthy. "Subtitled An Oral History of the Zombie War, the savvy, engaging novel was written as a series of postwar interviews with people all over the world that provided a reasonably comprehensive and intriguingly political mosaic portrait of how and why the international calamity played out the way it did." The scares in the film, however, are "mostly of mild jolts rather than shocks."

• A more pleased Scott Foundas from Variety wrote, "Rising from an early grave of negative pre-release publicity, director Marc Forster and producer-star Brad Pitt's much-maligned World War Z emerges as a surprisingly smart, gripping and imaginative addition to the zombie-movie canon, owing as much to scientific disaster movies like The China Syndrome and Contagion as it does to undead ur-texts like the collected works of George Romero."

•  "The result is slick, tense and hangs together fine, far from the disaster many predicted during its tortured birthing," reads another brief tip of the hat from Empire. "But it's also just a little bit bland and generic. In particular, horror fans jonesing for grand-scale carnage are unlikely to come away entirely satisfied."

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