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‘World War Z’ deploys familiar themes

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“World War Z” promised to be some sort of ultimate zombie movie experience, and it’s hard to call it that. But the first 25 minutes or so of this “Contagion”-meets-“28 Days Later” thriller will leave you breathless. And the rest of it serves up novel and often entertaining solutions to the various “zombie problems” that this overexposed genre presents. Marc Forster (“Quantum of Solace”) hurls us straight into the action. Barely five minutes into the film, ex-U.N. trouble-shooter Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt), his wife (Mireille Enos) and two kids are trapped in Philadelphia traffic when all heck breaks loose. Whatever hints there have been about this “rabies” outbreak on the news cannot prepare them for the melee a tidal wave of the undead unleash.

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