World War Z (2013)

Director: Marc Forster
Starring: Brad Pitt, .USA/UK. 1h 56m

For every great book there is a highly anticipated and terrible movie. Even the “good” movies fail to hit all of the high notes of a novel, but spending 2 hours watching one person’s perspective of something that might have taken you a week or month to read will never compare. At least World War Z was very open that it was never an attempt to “be” the book but just to give a flavour of one of the books ethos, but more importantly for studio this was going to be the biggest grossing movie with the best stars and have fancy graphics and the world was going to love it.

While I’d never want to take anything away from the movie’s success, it was and still is indeed loved, I still can’t fathom someone surviving a plane crash with a few bruises and just walking away but alas it’s the mood of the movie.

MF has a solid track record of big blockbuster movies under his belt including the emotive political, The Kite Runner (2007), a whole brand new stylized Bond film, Quantum of Solace (2008) and just before this new blockbuster a slightly unusual but might powerful action packed Machine Gun Preacher (2011). With all of these massive films under his belt there was never a doubt that the popular book was going to take in the massive world wide scope of an apocalypse, but instead of the voice of many it’s more through the eyes of one family man.

The original book saw a lot of different people recite their own personal plight throughout a zombie apocalypse, from all walks of life there’s a global vision of impending doom. In stark contrast we see him all from the eyes of one man, Gerry Lane (Pitt) a former United Nations employee, manages to see a lot of the world himself in a search for answers and a cure! Gerry is driving with his family one moment until he realises there’s more to the traffic jam than traffic as he received a call while other WHO officials attempt to rescue him. Apart from knowing he’s very important, we are immediately faced with a attentive individual, he never panics, thinks like Sherlock Holmes and is a total badass. After gathering supplies, and holding up in an apartment building they make a desperate escape to the roof to a secure military ship where he and his family are safe, but in order to keep their place on the ship Gerry has to go back to work and find answers about this new plague and a ideally he needs to find a cure.


“I can’t leave my family”

-Gerry Lane

From this moment on, the film basically chases Jerry around the globe in a desperate attempt to save humanity, he’s brave and courageous and seems to have the poise of a man who’s been in this tense situation before, but Pitt, while acting incredibly well, seems somewhat wooden, we know he loves his family and he’s got a lot on but you don’t FEEL it, he’s not the only member of the cast who just seems out of place or not quite right.

The approach to the zombie is something slightly different to what has been seen before, instead of handful or rambling moaning monsters or poisoned fast running corpses, these zombies move like a wave of rotting flesh at one point in their frenzy they scale a massive wall like a tide of death, it’s clear that the scale here is epic and the film is taking no prisoners as a lot of the cast do get slaughtered which is an added bonus, the film is supposed to be raw and paints a not to pretty future so don’t get attached to anyone.

From the early scenes of the movie we notice what Gerry notices, notices that a small range of people don’t ever seem to be affected by the zombies , or the disease and the running point of the film is the particular speck of interest in trying to find out why some people are totally immune, and if it wasn’t for that, the film just wouldn’t have kept us interested for as long as it does .

There’s a constant switching between the feeling that the world is about to end, to well just a boring sublime drama, the sense of danger isn’t a constant fear as in something more gut wrenching like 28 Days Later (2002) which had a deep foreboding shadow cast over the entire film but World War Z, hangs onto this idea that even in a zombie apocalypse we can still hold out for a hero and with brave closing scenes much like Signs (2002), the world always comes together and forgets it’s prejudice and we strive on… or at least that’s the Hollywood vision.

Rating: 5/10

Related: Train to Busan (2016),
Lists: Modern Zombies Horrors, Spotlight: Brad Pitt,

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