Just got back from seeing this. A solid three stars out of five. They get kudos for bringing it in at just under two hours and resisting the summer blockbuster trend of stretching every movie out to two and a half hours or more, and for not letting that many plot holes get by with the rewritings and reshootings. Good in many parts, average in many others. My major complaint is the obsession with speed that is taken to its logical extreme by having the victims turn in fifteen seconds after being bitten. I'm not asking for them to copy the novel's approach, where someone could incubate the virus for weeks before dying, or even for a good old Romero three days. Just do what the DAWN OF THE DEAD remake did and give people four or five hours. I know that they imply the earlier forms of the virus took up to ten minutes to work, but even that is too fast. It actually makes a global pandemic less likely in some ways, because the faster the virus works the harder it is for someone to accidentally carry it with them on an airplane and the quicker it will be obvious to the authorities that something is wrong.
Anyways, I know somebody at Paramount, they didn't work on this film but they told me that the company water cooler gossip put the final price tag at $207 million and some change, but it was unclear if that included just the shooting, re-shooting and post-production or if they were including the promotional and distribution expenses as well. But a lot of money either way. With that unofficial figure in mind, I almost want to use the metaphor of buying a new car and paying full sticker price for it. Yeah it might be a good car, but you still got ripped off.