After long delay, I write my first review in months. Competing against a weekend with my favorite superhero Superman and seeing Man of Steel twice last week, “World War Z” was a rough sell in my book. However, I really wanted to see this film as soon as possible. I am a HUGE zombie fan playing Resident Evil videogames as a kid, watching them BUTCHER the RE movies but loved movies like Dawn of the Dead, 28 Days Later, and 28 Weeks Later; as well as watching AMC’s popular The Walking Dead.
I’d used to believe that if there indeed WAS a “Zombie Apocalypse,” I would be perfectly fine and be one of the last ones remaining. But with World War Z! I definitely feel like I would be SCREWED! These Z’s are fast, agile and can bite you anywhere and anytime by just coming out of no where.
Based on the zombie-apocalyptic horror novel by author Max Brooks, director Marc Forster’s World War Z turns the book (that I haven’t read) into your typical zombie thriller with TONS of zombies! I mean TONS! Prior to the outbreak, Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) a retired UN investigator is living a quiet life as a stay at home dad. Doing the daily chores, sleeping in, making pancakes for his two daughters and wife, Karen (Mireille Enos from The Killing). Then the daughter asks ‘What is martial law?’ and everything goes bananas. A new strain of “rabies” devastates Philadelphia, where ordinary people turned to zombies in a minimum of 12 seconds, thanks to Lane’s daughters doll as they run around Philadelphia. First thing I hear from my friend Kevin, being a die-hard Pittsburgh native, is “Thank God! I hate Philadelphia.”
When Philly is done for, Gerry’s best friend Terry from the UN asks for his help and will provide safe housing for the Lane family. However this housing comes with a price when Terry asks Gerry (it goes back and forth with these names) to escort their last hope, a 23-year-old scientist who apparently is the end-all-be-all of scientists, to possibly figure out where this outbreak all started.
There is plenty of action in the film! People hoping for enormous scenes of zombie killing could be underwhelmed by the overall World War Z experience. The enormous zombie crowd shots are awesome to look at but we’ve seen a majority of them in the trailers. Even though I did watch all the spots on TV, the movie still does not disappoint. Picking up pretty heavy in the first couple of minutes and having the suspense NEVER stop. In this zombie flick, there is tiptoeing and ‘we have to be quiet’ scenes where you never know where a Z may show up.
The performances in World War Z are great! Pitt in the lead role has a great balance of ‘I need to be a man and figure out how to protect my family’ to ‘holy crap, the world is ending what do I do!’ haha sorry those are my thoughts. He does a great job though, and it’s a movie we have never seen Pitt do before. It’s hardly one of his best roles, but nonetheless he does a great job on keeping the audience in the loop and not going to sleep.
Mireille Enos is just as good as Lane’s wife, Karen. I loved her even more because I just started watching her AMC show The Killing on Sunday nights. Even though the movie doesn’t really develop her character past her family, she makes the most of her scenes as a protective mother and supporting wife who just wants her family to be together in this crazy world. Other supporting actors including Fana Mokoena, James Badge Dale, Peter Capaldi, Pierfrancesco Favino, Ludi Boeken, and even Matthew Fox, get opportunities to shine. No joke, if you’re a huge Matthew Fox fan and can’t wait to see him in it, you’ll be very disappointed. He shouldn’t be in it and DEFINITELY shouldn’t be fourth on the credits list haha.
Of course, the real Oscars of the film go to the zombies who offer a new take on what a zombie actually is. Although no one says zombie in the trailers, they end up being called spoiler alert ‘the undead’ or ‘zekes’ I believe is the term. As mentioned before, these zombies are DEFINITELY not the ones I have been used to in past zombie flicks. There are parts during the movie where it is informative what Lane (Pitt) finds out things about this breed of zombies that people STILL don’t know about (i.e. how it’s spread, how they’re attracted to humans.) But attempting to add up the pieces and see how it will end is very intriguing if you consider yourself a “zombie expert.”
Critics have stated that zombie shots rely too heavily on CGI and is a bit overdone to make it look believable, which I can agree with. However, there is no other way to do it unless you pay a ton of extras to come out for these shots. I am not a big fan for paying more to see a film or to see it for a more expensive price. I did see this movie in 3D and have to say; I think I could have done without it. There were a couple of cools scenes in 3D, but it didn’t make me jump out of my seat or anything. For a normal moviegoer, just see it regularly as it’s meant to be. It makes it better for your eyes.
World War Z falls between great actors with some depth (that we never see) and a cool zombie concept twist ALONG SIDE a rushed budget (it seems) CGI effects that fall somewhat short and Paramount’s attempt at a summer blockbuster (but nothing can beat “Man of Steel”.) Although the effects can be weird, the story was not as bad as I thought. Definitely a movie I would like to see again and re-diagnose it as a better film. However for now, I don’t believe that World War Z delivered on being the box-office it was supposed to be. I give it a B- / C+ with 2 ½ stars. I am conflicted because I love zombie films, however this one was just a bit off.