World War Z

 

World War Z is an epic take on the zombies-destroy-humanity idea. And when you have Brad Pitt to help you save the day, films simply do not get bigger. Directed by Marc Foster, this is one massive adrenaline fueled ride where zombies, gore and spine chilling moments are in abundance.

 

STARRING:
Brad Pitt
Mireille Enos
James Badge Dale
Matthew Fox

 

DIRECTOR:
Marc Foster

 

DATE OF RELEASE:
21st June, 2013

 

RUNNING TIME:
116 minutes

 

Nothing spells summer blockbuster like the next great apocalyptic movie. Zombies in it, you say? Couldn’t be better, the audiences chime in unison. No wonder that director Marc Foster gets a lot of money to come up with a visually arresting spectacle. World War Z lives up to its premise adequately.

 

The film stars Brad Pitt as a UN employee Gerry Lane, thrust into the centre of zombie fury.  A few portentous moments start the film off with suspicious news reports of mobs and dead dolphins and other scary, abnormal stuff.  The Lanes (a wife and two daughters with Pitt) are caught in a traffic jam in downtown Philadelphia. The jam however descends into anarchy under the march of a horde of human like creatures that maul people, causing pandemonium to erupt.

 

The family is on the run unto Lane’s old friend, Under Secretary Umutoni (Fana Mokoena) can get them out. Pitt goes to work with a virologist (Elyes Gabel) to try and figure out the source of the virus that turns humans into flesh eating masses. He flies around trying to figure out what has happened. His travels lead him to Israel where he is helped by an Israeli soldier (Daniella Kertesz) who joins him in his globetrotting.

 

The film has too many rough edges to be called superb or a genre defining effort. It could be the fact that apart from Pitt’s character, no one else seems to care about survival or their loved ones. The camera work while absolutely fantastic at times, stutters at certain movements in attempts to showcase the real state of things. Another issue is the tendency of the film to play it safe. Zombie movies are legendary for their generous use of blood and chilling moments. In this flick, while the scale is arguably the grandest ever for a film on the topic, the blood and the feral intensity seems to be missing a tad.

 

Marc Foster does have a gift for sequences though with the traffic jam being a prime example of his ability. A plane that is taken over by zombies in a bone chilling manner is another good example. The ending however is a big let-down. The chills are tantalisingly visible but they never do deliver on their substantial promise.

 

World War Z is a good movie that could have been maybe a bit more gory. Maybe Foster wanted a PG 13 rating instead of an R. Either way, this is a good movie. However if you’re looking for a zombie classic, I’d still say go and watch Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later. It may not have Pitt in the lead role or a multi hundred million dollar budget, but it is still a much better film than this.

 

 

 

 

One Response

  1. I was extremely saddened to discover that perhaps 10% of the source material (Max Brooks' oral history) makes it through to the screen. Instead of a chilling geopolitical thriller we get a by-the-numbers action flick with a reluctant hero. Sure, it works as a summer popcorn movie – and is somewhat more intelligent than the usual round of rebooted superheroes – but man, it could have been so much better.

    Forster & Pitt had no clear vision for this movie. I'm sure their initial scripts were closer to the book, and I expected something akin to The Walking Dead meets Bourne trilogy. But as production problems set in and budgets ballooned, under studio pressure I think they gave up and opted for the fun, commercial movie.

    At least it isn't a complete disaster as I feared. Still hold out hope that someone will faithfully adapt the book into a trilogy or miniseries with the appropriate vision (and budget). There's no rush – after all, LOTR fans waited decades for a deserving adaptation.

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