- Starring: Brad Pitt (Babel), Mireille Enos (Gangster Squad), James Badge Dale (The Grey) and more.
- Directed by: Marc Forster (Quantum of Solace)
- Synopsis: “The story revolves around United Nations employee Gerry Lane (Pitt), who traverses the world in a race against time to stop the Zombie pandemic that is toppling armies and governments and threatening to decimate humanity itself.”
- Rated: Rated PG-13 for disturbing sequences/images, violence and frightening zombie scenes.
- Must-Watch Trailer:
The undead have never gone out of fashion it seems in media. From Frankenstein to Night of the Living Dead to Dawn of the Dead and more, the undead in form of vampires, zombies, stitched together monsters and otherwise have caused thrills, shrieks, tears and screams for countless fans over the years. Hit the jump to see if it’s worth fighting to see World War Z.
Apparently similar yet quite different from the 2006 Max Brooks horror novel on which it is based, World War Z stars Brad Pitt in a passion project of his that takes a unique, and at the same time familiar, look at an apocalyptic threat of zombies. The trailers never had me sold on the film (fast moving zombies? ball of speedy CGI mess of faces and appendages moving like a wave? Brad Pitt a family man?) and so I went in with low expectations of this film.
Those low expectations paid off, but weren’t completely necessary as World War Z is a decent summer flick that surprised me. Full of aspects that tend to be borrowed from 28 Days Later, Contagion and the Xbox game “Left For Dead,” World War Z brings on the frights through the fictional reality a zombie epidemic that ravages the entire world. I am not a Brad Pitt hater, but I had a feeling this film would be 95% centered around him and had my doubts. It is still 95% focused on the Pitt, but he really sells the fear, the action, the emotion and the fortitude one would expect to see from a character in his position.
One of the things that got me with World War Z was how quickly it just jumps into the story. You’ll understand when you see it. The film transforms its appearance from that of a family film to a Resident Evil survivor film just about as quickly as the turning of the zombies themselves. I also couldn’t help thinking that the events of World War Z must have been what was going on in the world while Rick was in that coma in The Walking Dead. 🙂
The real world response of such a pandemic is what enables to film to lock in on the fear factor of the brain. So many moments of intense squirming in your chair will keep the attention as characters here and there scramble for their lives from uncertain doom. The science involved in the story really brings in the plausibility factor to ground level, but also ushers in the predictability that keeps World War Z‘s surprise factor at bay. It may make you squirm and shriek, but the anti-climatic may make you more upset, unfortunately.
Perhaps a result of so many productions problems, rewrites and reshoots, but the way in which it all ties together is too neat. Much like the alternate ending of I Am Legend (for which I am glad it remained the alternate ending), World War Z ends in a way that is set up and expected. The road there is tumultuous but through it all, we care little to nothing for any of the characters they spend time to introduce us to (not even his family, really) which makes the time spent to do so seem a bit wasted as it could’ve been spent on the zombies rampage then and explaining a bit more about them (We’ll chalk it up to poor editing given the post-production issues).
I did miss a little bit of the terrifying zombie violence that is seen in The Walking Dead, Quarantine and other such films. Perhaps the PG-13 rating hurt this film, but ultimately it is not a horrible movie and I was pleasantly surprised. A criticism this film is receiving is the lack of the themes present in the book (geopolitical, religious, environmental, etc). While not everything can be input into a film, I can understand where that may have strengthened the story. However, this is a zombie movie. And as such, the biggest criticism I can give it is that it didn’t give enough of them. (Minus a few creepy scenes, I expected more)
World War Z: Brad Pitt’s career isn’t as dead yet as the zombies he was fighting. Check it out.
My Score: 3 out of 5 stars for World War Z
(Remember, to read this review of mine and over 250 more, check out THE ARCHIVE of movies I have reviewed anytime. Know before you go…or rent…or buy!)
Thanks for reading! Happy Watching!
–T, The Focused Filmographer
up next: Review of The Iceman