Movie Review – World War Z

WARNING: Spoilers. There are plot giveaways in this review. (But nothing big so stop having a cry and read the damn review!)



IMDB Rating: 7.3 out of 10 (10,035 votes)

Director: Marc Forster

The poster for World War Z.

The poster for World War Z.

World War Z, an action movie with originality cowering in the corner, is passable as a “go-see” summer film. Anything past that would be a stretch, but seeing as it’s a zombie flick, that’s reason enough to buy some popcorn, sit down, and enjoy the fall of civilization.

The director Marc Forster does a very respectable job capturing the mad panic that the world’s end would bring about. The shaky cam works to the film’s advantage, bringing about the sense of fear, confusion, and to a lesser extent, blindness in the face of action, that we all want to see. A zombie movie isn’t believable unless there are explosions, gunshots, and people running from the undead, and to my relief, Forster includes all of the above. But what a shame it is to see the book go to waste.

The end of us.

The end of us.

I haven’t read the book, and won’t claim to have an intricate knowledge of the goings-on in between the covers, but what I have been led to believe is that the book centers on multiple people telling their recollection of events to someone similar to a hidden camera, an unbeknownst viewer, a mysterious listener that they haven’t recognized yet. The idea of bringing that to the screen is so much more interesting than the stuff we, the viewers, are spoon fed in the cinema – man has family, problem spreads, man must protect family, man leaves family to save world, man helps find cure, family is okay (nearly a blatant copy of Roland Emmerich’s 2012). When I said that originality was cowering in the corner, this is what I meant. The originality of the book – a critically acclaimed book – is scrapped for the Hollywood clichés we’re now all too familiar with.

And yes, it is enjoyable, but World War Z isn’t without it’s flaws, or at least mediocrities. The writing is, like it’s more developed concept, nothing we haven’t seen before. The lines are mostly on the tacky side, and Brad Pitt’s constant whispering and soft talking didn’t help the cause.  I still don’t understand why he, out of all people, is picked to go – he’s just an investigator, now retired, working for the U.N. Ever heard of the army? Or the police? Sure, Pitt is fine, but his character was no Verbal Kint. Instead, Gerry Lane is a man who loves his family, and will do the most predictable things possible to help them; I was thinking about how Gerry was going to inject himself 10 minutes before it happened. That’s another thing that bugs me about this movie. It is very predictable. I guess that kind of ties in with the whole ‘originality’ thing though, doesn’t it?

Caught in the crossfire.

Caught in the crossfire.

And I won’t even bother to expansively ridicule the ridiculous – a scientist slipping and shooting himself. I’m not quite sure how to critique that without making an overly insulting call as to it’s stupidity.

But the film IS enjoyable.

The direction is tense, and the scenes where it’s edge-of-your-seat stuff are mainly the ones with little to no lighting and sound. Though in complete contradiction of my last statement, I must commend Marco Beltrami on his score, which is as chilling and creative as any this year. From the very start, the music playing behind the opening credits sequence (a great sequence, I might add), grabs your attention, and sucks you into the world of a zombie apocalypse like nothing else in the film does.

The Zombies are very real and scary; the twitchy eyes, bodies in seizure, and attacks out of nowhere give the Zombies very unique characteristics. In comparison, The Walking Dead’s Zombies are slow, sluggish, but uglier and more about eating the whole-body. I like how the film separates itself from The Walking Dead; possibly my favourite showing of this is the calling of the undead ‘Zombies’, rather than ‘Walkers’ or ‘Biters’.

They're coming.

They’re coming.

The film doesn’t feel at all like it’s two-hour run time. Instead, the film is somewhat  interesting and enveloping; the direction is jagged, rough, and gives great insight into the feel and tone of the events. So World War Z puts us in the middle of an all-out epidemic, and even though it has it’s flaws, we’re somewhat glad we’re there.

MY RATING: 7 out of 10.

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