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The story of how World War Z was made is a lot more harrowing and
suspenseful than the film itself. After going way over-budget and
enduing a complete revision and reshoot of the final act, WWZ wasn't
exactly set up for success. Ultimately the movie is completely
forgettable and uneven, but not offensively bad or objectively terrible
in any sense. What struck me about it was how much of a wasted
opportunity it was, given how interesting and entertaining the source
Having read the book World War Z, I could tell from the trailers for this movie that it wouldn't exactly be a faithful adaptation. I thought that the most interesting aspects of the book were its exploration of how the Zombie plague affected social and political structures across the world. Anything like that is completely ignored in the film, but I can at least understand how the filmmakers thought that those aspects wouldn't work in a single feature length movie. What I can't understand is how the filmmakers seemingly ignored the book's most obviously cinematic content. The book features a lot of setpiece action scenes, and to be fair, many of these involve world cities falling to zombie infestation and the movie does do enough to cover this. However, the book's immense battle scenes - the meat of the titular Zombie War, such as the Battle of Yonkers, nuclear war between Pakistan and Iran, Chinese civil war and massive formation combat against zombies - are completely absent. I was very surprised that they did not cover these, especially the Yonkers scene, because they would obviously fit so well into a film and the script, even as it is now, could easily be tweaked to include or at least mention them. The action that did make it into this film is very unsatisfying and obscure thanks to the restrictions of the PG-13 rating, and the narrative around is not engaging enough to really get me invested in it.
I was also surprised at how cheap this movie looked. This film cost hundreds of millions of dollars to make, but it's hard to see where it all went on the screen. Swarms of zombies look very fake and nonthreatening, and in some cases individual zombies are computer animated, which gave me bad flashbacks to I Am Legend's awful CGI overload. Aside from the opening scenes in Philadelphia and the middle act in Jerusalem, there are no big outdoor sets. A South Korean airbase is portrayed as a series of dark rooms; too much of the movie takes place in an airline seat; there is a lot of sitting around inside of the aircraft carrier, etc. The sense of scale is very inconsistent, and this is accentuated in the bizarre final act, which was obviously the focus of the infamous reshoots as it feels like a completely separate movie. I consider myself a patient viewer, but this very long and dull scene started to bring me down after a while, and my less patient viewing audience eventually fell completely out of sync with the film and began to make fun of it at every opportunity - not really a fair criticism of the film, but it's a real issue when it can't hold an audience's attention. The final act does actually have an interesting idea at its heart, albeit one that completely doesn't connect with anything in the book, but I just didn't think it was a well executed concept. The very different style and tone of these scenes makes it feel like a completely different movie.
Again, while there was nothing all that terrible about WWZ, I didn't think it was anything to get excited about. In other words, a perfect 5/10 movie. I wish they were more aware of the source material's potential because without the best and most cinematic aspects of the book, WWZ (the film)and WWZ (the book) only share a title and the central premise of a zombie plague, which is not an original idea in itself.
Oh, Hollywood. You saw the zombie apocalypse coming didn't you? Not a
literal apocalypse of course, just 16 dozen different zombie books,
graphic novels, games and TV shows taking over the world like the
plague, and you just had to have your piece of the pie, didn't you?
World War Z is based on the 2006 novel by Max Brooks. The novel garnered some quite positive reviews, praised for its international and political scope. It also caught the eye of producer and star Brad Pitt, who after a long struggle with studios, directors, producers and other Hollywood zombies, managed to put together a half decent movie with director Marc Forster.
Half decent? Well, WWZ certainly isn't a bad movie. You've got the long-time Oscar-deserving Pitt playing Gerry Lane, a likable, good-looking family man who retired as a UN investigator to spend more time around his wife and daughters. This is all about to change obviously, because after the now seemingly mandatory news-footage-montage introduction, Gerry is called back by the UN in exchange for his family's safety on their big boat.
It sounds good enough, but the problem is that WWZ's political/international context is nowhere to be found so we're left pretty much to 28 Days Later with blockbuster pretentiousness. Sure, Gerry travels around the world and makes a few long distance phone calls, but there's never anything remotely compelling enough to warrant his travels and whenever the plot does manage to come close to something it quickly sets it aside in the interest of keeping this summer blockbuster light, family friendly and internationally marketable.
After Quantum of Solace there was much uncertainty about Forster's ability to direct action and after WWZ, guess what? There still is. Granted, it's never boring, but when the other elements that should've made the film aren't there it should be more than "never boring". Paramount's marketing certainly didn't help; if you've seen the trailers then you've seen the whole plot and LITERALLY every single action set piece, in chronological order too. You know when you see a trailer and think "they put all the good parts in"? Well, this time they put the whole movie in. The more hardcore genre fans might also want to look elsewhere if they're seeking gory zombie kills; there isn't much of that either as its PG-13 rating might suggest.
Brad Pitt is really the film's only strength. Much like Tom Cruise, Brad's got enough talent to singlehandedly pull you through a not-so-great movie without you hating him for it. And at almost age 50 you can't really blame him for wanting to star in his own big blockbuster franchise for the first time in his career when he could've played any superhero he wanted years ago. "Franchise" of course, if permitted by the audience, because this is one movie that desperately wants to have sequels.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The special effects were impressive, I will give you that. However, the
rest wasn't. The 2 hour experience felt like watching titanic sink, in
real time. Here is a list of the things that went wrong:
1. PG13 rating: The director and producers wanted to make this movie family friendly, so they took away all the gore, death and decay that makes the zombie genre what it is. This made the zombies totally not scary and even on occasions towards the end, just plain laughable.
2. Senseless plot: The UN sends a small team to investigate the beginning of the outbreak. They have a neurologist on the team, who incidentally cant stop using cheesy metaphors about mother nature. Why can't they send multiple teams, with more than one expert on each? After all it is clearly a high risk mission, casualties must be expected. After the neurologist dies right after his pretentious speech, it is clear that the whole thing was an excuse to put Brad Pitt in a dangerous situation so that we will feel tension. We still didn't because, see 3.
3. Bad character development: None of the characters in the movie had any depth. As a result we didn't care if they lived or died. Pitt's family was just the detestable suburban family, who apparently does nothing but turn money into feces. Their marriage and children felt so plastic and ready-made that I personally would not have felt a thing if Pitt was torn apart by zombies in front of his family. Well, actually that might have improved this movie, alas it couldn't have happened because of 1.
4. The ending sequence: Just as we think that the plot cannot get worse and we make peace with the idea of enjoying the special effects, the movie takes another down turn in the last 40 minutes or so. The special effects disappear and we find Pitt and his sidekick in a W.H.O. research facility playing hide and seek with zombies. There is no suspense because the ending is announced basically in the first 5 minutes of this sequence, Pitt will go into the zombie infested part of the building, get some disease samples and bring them back. They will use one of the samples to infect themselves and see if zombies will lose their appetite. They do, and we win, with another pretentious speech about how it is not the end but just the beginning. Yawn.
5. Plot holes:
a) Zombies can diagnose a terminal illness just by looking at someone and for some reason, they avoid that person. This doesn't make any sense at any level. First, even a doctor with years of medical training can't do that without extensive testing. How can a mindless zombie, who cant figure out how to unbuckle her seat belt, do it just after a glance by the corner of her eye? Second, why the hell would zombies avoid a sick person? There is no reason. After all, the virus, or whatever that is causing the outbreak is not harmed by any other disease. The W.H.O. scientists said so themselves.
b) The W.H.O. facility is in Wales, Britain. Among the weapons they have in their arsenal is a baseball bat. Does the director even know where Wales is? Does anyone, one soul in Wales, own a baseball bat? Was that so difficult to make it a cricket bat? Come on now, I think that the director is a bit of a thickie but I can't believe that no one who looked at this movie pre-release had seen Shaun of the Dead. And to add insult to injury, the soldier girl with one hand picks the baseball bat. This scene alone is enough to prove that the director of the movie is blind from birth, because anyone who had at least one functioning eye at any point in his life and used it to glance at a baseball bat would have immediately realized that it is a two-handed weapon. How could a special forces soldier could not recognize it as such and not pick the crowbar?
c) The cellphone battery: In one scene, the cellphone's battery is declared dead. In a later scene, it is working again. Really?
d) When they decide to recover the disease samples, they give Pitt no briefing about which containers contain what. But apparently, at least one container is full of deadly stuff, which would kill him immediately. Why? Why? OMG, why? The security cameras show the room clearly. All they need to do is to seat Pitt and the soldier girl in front of one of the displays and show them where the goodies are before sending them in.
e) Pitt has no special combat, first aid or survival training. He apparently learned all that stuff on the field, and he is not a scientist either. Finally, he doesn't have experience as a commanding officer. So, why would he, instead of literally thousands of military people who were purpose-trained for such a mission, is chosen to lead the mission? It doesn't make any sense. It would have made a lot of sense if his UN friend said something like "Look, I convinced these people that you are the best man to lead this mission though we both know that you aren't. You are just a guy who spent ten years handing out blankets to African countries. But I had to do it to save your family, alright? They would have never let you on the ship otherwise and you would have died in Philly." That would have not only sealed this plot hole, but also would have given Pitt's character a tragic and desperate quality, which would have helped us care about him. But the mindless zombies who made this movie missed this chance too.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
SPOILER ALERT. SPOILER ALERT! You have been warned.
The Premiere -
I was at the London World Premiere last week, and Interestingly there was clearly tension between Mark (Director) and Brad Pitt. I would have thought a director of this size movie would be able to make a speech. But no. Reading from cards he fumbled over his words, got his actors names seriously wrong in front of 1000 people and was clearly very very nervous. Which is odd because any director should be excited or proud to be presenting their work to the world!
Brad Pitt in interview said they chose Mark as he was really good at the little emotional moments between characters. Well they mush have cut those bits out.
The movie -
A zombie film with no blood? I've no idea what the zombies were doing as we never see them kill anyone! They just run around a lot, far too fast for a 'human being'. No decapitated zombies, and a incredibly poor script that could have been knocked together in an evening.
Speaking to actors who worked on the film they told me a lot of the dialogue was improvised. And it shows. Good dialogue is written. It is very hard for an actor to come up with great dialogue on set with crew around, lights, explosions, gun fire and a budget and schedule pressing down on you - that is what rehearsals and, dare I say, a screenwriter are for.
I just don't think Mark Forster (Quantum of Bollox) knows how to direct. No emotional connection to any of the characters. No big climax at the end and the least threatening Zombie in the history of movies. Click click click.
A tedious V/O from Brad at the end, about "only just the beginning, of the war, YAWN..." We have heard this a hundred times.
There was some truly awful acting, characters that appear and go in a scene, that do nothing, and flimsy science that is just insulting to anyone who can actually think.
The only good bit was the Zombie as Ants scene, but it would have been hugely improved if a zombie with a giant leaf walked past in the background.
The audience laughed at several moment, that I don't believe the director even realised were gags!
Brad doesn't even really do any acting. He does a bit of running around and a fight or two. No great lines, and I don't really believe that he loves his kids and wife so terribly much.
Best thing in it was - Daniella Kertesz, but her scenes are clearly cut to bits, unlike her hand, which just seems to be fine after a couple of gin and tonics. I'll have what she's having!
And leaning suitcases against a curtain? Seriously. That was really bad.
The film could have been saved in the Edit - with some clever re-positioning of the major scenes, to get the structure right, but having seen Brad and Mark together, they had clearly fallen out of love with the movie.
Nothing here we haven't seen in 28 Days Later, or any other zombie film, or even The War of the World that was written 100 years ago.
At the end the applause was half hearted and everyone got up and left super fast.
The aftermath -
Please GOD can we stop giving bad directors a second, and in this case 10th chance. This film made me angry that a studio can waste so much money on what was a mediocre idea even at the beginning, and gave it to a director who has a proved track record of not being able to fix a bad script, or direct action.
The budget on this would keep an independent film maker in business for the next 400 years - or if we put that in a real time scale - all the way back to Elizabeth the 1st.
Nothing to see here ladies and gentlemen, move on.
I was dubious! The rating, the early reviews, my love of gory George Romero movies had all led me to deciding not to see this. But, my wife wanted to go... Well, two breathless hours later I turned to her, big grin on my face and had to state "That was awesome!" Yes, I can see why people don't like it. It is very different to the traditional zombie movie, and very different to the book. But you know what, who cares - it's not a traditional zombie movie, or the book - it's different. So suck it it up whiners and enjoy this for what it is! (And I'm a huge fan of all Max Brooks zombie books.) The movie begins with a short intro to the main character and his family (it was enough, it told me all I needed to know) before launching into a fantastic, break neck sequence that establishes the pace for most of the rest of the movie. It's violent, visceral and shocking without any reliance in gore. The tension is racked up (especially in the escape from the apartment block sequence) with a series of spectacular set pieces (the walls of Jerusalem scene is brilliant) and things get better and bigger until the film slows the pace for the final reel with a slow burning, smaller scale sequence set in a WHO research lab in the UK. It's an unusual choice to end a movie with the smallest set piece, but it worked well for me as it was in line with Gerry's quest and the (stated in the movie) fact that the answer is often so small it gets overlooked. The gravity of the decisions Gerry has to make here are greater than any previously in the movie (where mostly he just has to run like hell!) and it's that that makes this such a powerful set piece to end the movie. I learnt several things from this movie 1) to let go of my preconceptions about what a zombie film should be, 2) that a low rating doesn't mean its for kids - I have two sons and despite the lack of gore I certainly wouldn't let then see this. Its very intense and that (not the gore) is what would scare them. 3) to go with the flow - I did here and was swept along for a rapid fire 2 hour thrill ride that was a hell of a lot of fun. I for one will be getting this on blu ray and I'll be first in line for any sequel. But I will admit, an undated version would be very welcome!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
If a film is sold by a trailer it's this one . I've never read the
source novel but do know it is structured as reportage where the world
has been changed by a zombie infestation leading to a new geo-political
shape for the world so in many ways this is more of a prequel than an
adaptation . I did like Danny Boyle's genre shattering 28 DAYS LATER
and loved the sequel and unfortunately it looks like that franchise has
ended so in some ways this could be a surrogate 28 MONTHS LATER . Add
to this the trailers where the waves of infected storm barriers against
heavily armed soldiers and we've got a Zombie classic in the making
don't we ?No we don't because this is a film that gives the impression
that it was written and made by zombies
From the outset we get something incomprehensible - the outbreak itself . WWZ keeps the origins of the virus an enigma and right away this damages the premise . At least in 28 DL the audience are afforded an opening scene of the rage virus escaping and you're very quickly able to buy in to this scenario . WWZ doesn't do this but an opening scene alludes to a virus breaking out across the world via news reports . Cut to scientist Brad Pitt driving his family in Philadelphia and finds himself in a traffic jam . Within seconds people run screaming from their cars as rabid zombies run everywhere
This scene is mildly effective but there's a spanner in the works . Two spanners actually . One is that's very clear that the incubation period of this virus is a few seconds almost identical to that established in 28 DL . In reality such a violent virus would spread like wild fire but the thing is it wouldn't be able to cross continents which renders the later parts of the film as incomprehensible from a logic point of view . Secondly you will find it impossible to buy in to this scenario . I know I didn't but please feel free to ask questions
As the film progresses Brad Pitt's scientist - and I won't call him by his character name because he doesn't have a character - jumps on a plane to South Korea then off to Israel where the Israelis have managed to block out the infected by building a massive big wall
" Wow that was quick Theo . The Israelis must be very good bricklayers to build a wall when the infection has only existed for a couple of days "
Oh no because the Mossad chief got word from India a few week earlier that the Indian army were fighting zombies . Before you ask it's never revealed why the news media never got hold of this potential headline , nor is it revealed why when the rest of the world is battling Zombies this unknown virus never got in to Israel
The action scenes in Jerusalem are impressive from a spectacle point of view but again lack internal continuity . Safe behind their wall the Israelis let in refugees - while armies of Zombies swarm around outside . Narrowly escaping the carnage Brad stops to amputate the hand of a female IDF soldier whose just been bitten which defies credibility
" But Theo you know these Israelis are tough nuts and women have to endure pain and blood every month "
Not in the same league as amputation though is it ? Then Brad phones the UN who tell him that he must make his way to WHO research lab in Wales . Don't ask why there's no nearer research centres between Cardiff and Jerusalem . while on the aeroplane a Zombie that just happened to be hiding in the cupboard jumps out and spreads the infection leading to IDF girl to throw a grenade that causes the plane to crash in Wales . So they have a short walk to the WHO research centre
" Wouldn't blood loss caused by getting your hand amputated make you too weak to go for a short walk ? And wouldn't Britain being an island make quarantine against the virus much easier ? I mean if the Israelis managed it ? "
Look sit down and shut up . I know this was a major plot point that the rage virus couldn't escape from Britain in 28DL but if you think you can write a better Hollywood screenplay join the 7 billion people heading towards Hollywood right now . The last half hour involves more idiotic plotting that rely on coincidence , good fortune and after spending nearly every scene pointing out that the Zombies are attracted to noise someone just has to shoot a gun . The film ends with a solution to the problem which doesn't make the slightest bit of sense but means the human race can now concentrate on wiping out the Zombies
" But Theo won't the Zombies die of thirst ? "
I said shut up . If anything about this film made any sense it have been more than a loud dumb Summer blockbuster . You do notice that everything about it seems to have commercial consideration . Brad Pitt jumping all over the world meeting so many different nationalities does seem a cynical attempt at audience identification . Likewise the very obvious lack of blood and gore might supposedly attract people who fear the post apocalypse / Zombie genre ( Hello Bob The Moo ) but they'll notice the lack of intelligent plotting which severely damages the film and gore hounds who enjoy blood and guts will be disappointed by the extremely inoffensive nature of WWZ . Danny Boyle you're needed
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Let me start by giving a summary of the book: A journalist travels the
world AFTER the zombie outbreak to interview different people from
different countries to see how they handled this massive infestation.
It gives points of view from different characters on how they handled
themselves and uses real-world scenarios to show realistically how such
a thing would be combated.
On to the movie: Where did ANY of this go? First of all, instead of showing how DIFFERENT people handle this situation, it shows how ONE MAN handles it. Brad Pitt. For a movie that seems to want to be taken seriously as true-to-life, it sure does fail when it introduces the premise that somehow a RETIRED UN investigator is the most important man in the world and the only one who can save it. If such were the case, why send him out with ONLY a handful of soldiers instead of a small army of Special Forces? Also, why introduce this young, brilliant doctor as the possible hope for humanity if he is only going to idiotically shoot himself in the first thirty minutes of the movie? To me it seemed like Brad Pitt said: "Woah, wait a minute. You can't let a dorky doctor save the world. I'm the hero! Kill him off!", stamped his foot, and went to pout in a corner. I had heard that Pitt (the producer) and Forster (the director) were at odds through the entire filming, so the script had to be re-written several times to accommodate Pitt's hissy fits, so I'm slow to blame Forster for this awful "adaptation".
The zombies: LOL! These zombies are everything you'd expect if Disney decided to do a Pixar zombie film. Most of them are done using CGI, and the ones who are actual actors are completely non-scary and laughable. Gnashing their teeth like poorly acted Cenobytes from the Hellraiser series. In order to sell more tickets, they opted for a PG-13 rating, so there is no blood and I don't remember seeing a zombie kill a single person. How do you make a zombie movie when the antagonist which is supposed to strike fear into our hearts just seems like a football game gone horribly wrong? Super fast running and lots of flying tackles does not for a zombie apocalypse make.
The plot: I know this movie was trying for something different, and failed horribly. They should have just called it "28 Months Later". The supposed plot twist at the end, which was re-written 4 or 5 times, seemed put together at the last minute, and as if the writers just said: "eh, screw it. Just do this and release the movie so we can get a paycheck." Anyone who thinks that making it a metaphor for the current state of events and painting the UN into the saviors of humanity is something new has obviously not seen the FAR superior District 9. I will not get into all the other plot holes so monstrous you could drive a bus through them.
The acting: Who are these people? Why should we care about them? Their performances are wooden. They have such small roles because Brad Pitt seems to want to hog all the screen time, and even then his own performance is stilted and lackluster. He lacks any sort of emotion and I never once felt that I could connect to his character at all. The filmmakers would have done a much better job if he'd been introduced as an average joe.
Summary: I see a lot of people praising the action in this movie, but I found it extremely boring. Any action presented was the same: "Brad Pitt goes to new country, Brad Pitt gets attacked, Brad Pitt saves a handful of people, Brad Pitt runs to new country". For the overbloated budget, this movie offered nothing new or refreshing. On top of that, it could not even succeed as a good zombie film. Movies like 28 Days Later, The Horde, and hell, even Cockneys vs. Zombies show that a great zombie film does not need a huge budget to make it great. This was simply Pitt's and Hollywood's attempt at taking something people love (zombies) and cashing in on it. The 7.4 rating I see this movie had must have been paid for, because 9/10ths of the user reviews I see for this film are just BAD! Same as the film itself. The good reviews I see praise it as "The Best Zombie Movie I've Seen" which leads me to believe they haven't seen ANY zombie movies before, and that the movie is "Intelligent and Realistic", which if you see my above points, just isn't the case. Usually I am very forgiving in terms of movies lacking realism, but this one was trying to sell itself on that very premise. Also, I am not harsh on films for not being perfect adaptations of a book, but this is different, because it has absolutely NOTHING to do with the book at all aside from the wall in Israel and the title itself.
4/10 simply because some parts of it did look nice, and I'm even being in a giving mood with that.
At the end of World War Z, just as the credits began rolling, a
gentleman, scratch that, an idiot spoke up from the back of the theatre
exclaiming, "What? That sucked! The book was nothing like that! Booo!"
I'm sure he scurried away back home, logged online, and began tweeting,
posting, and blogging, furthering his rant. Much like my response to
him at the theatre, I hope he receives silence in return.
It's true, World War Z is nothing like the book. The book is told from the point of view AFTER the war. It's a "historical," account of what happened during the war. Rather than make a mockumentary with flashbacks, which would have been the wrong decision in my opinion, the filmmakers decided to put us right in the middle of the action.
When adapting a piece of literature it is impossible to bring every page, every paragraph, every nuance onto the screen. Some have come close depending on the material, but for the most part, they all have to take their own creative licenses. After all, it's called an "adaptation," for a reason, otherwise they would call it a copy or mimic.
Where World War Z works (that's a mouthful) and where so many others fail is that just because the world slips into total and utter chaos, doesn't mean that governments, military, and law enforcement agencies go away. Quite the opposite. If anything, these scenarios bring out the best of all of them. We see generals, UN delegates, and scientists trying to solve complex issues that they don't know anything about. Rather than going into hiding, they act. Society doesn't crumble. Bands of cannibals and leather strapped gangs don't patrol the streets with necklaces made of teeth. People do what they can to survive, and the higher ups try their best to find a fast and effective solution.
At first, I thought the movie started too fast. How could something this violent and concentrated go undetected, but after a while I got it. The opening montage of news reports said it all. How many of us listen to everything we hear on the news? Exactly. So much goes undetected while we focus on issues that effect us immediately. It's too late when the virus touches US soil. Not even social media can keep up with it.
As far as zombie movies go this one is pretty great. Though I think 28 Days Later takes the cake in terms of realism, in-camera effects, and sheer terror, this one holds its own. Brad Pitt plays a former UN investigator who is traveling with his family just as the zombie attack on Philadelphia unfolds. The film goes from 0-60 before you take a sip of your Coke. This is a fast paced, edge of your seat thrill ride led by one of the finest actors of this generation (Pitt's acting ability is far too underrated and lost in the kerfuffle of tabloid news).
For those of you who stare at the ticket window debating whether or not to see a film in 3D or standard, you might want to spend the extra few dollars to see this one in 3D (I know it's asking a lot, but maybe you can sneak some candy or a bottle of water to offset the concession stand price - deal with it). I tend to air on the side of "screw it, I want to see it in 3D." Now not every movie NEEDS to be seen in 3D, hell there are really only a couple that absolutely have to be seen in all three dimensions (Avatar and maybe Life of Pi), but this one really surprised me. 3D is not about things jumping out at you, but it's about layers. Luckily this film has both. Big chase scenes in Philly, particles floating about in South Korea, and tracking shots in Jerusalem make this one of the 3D events of the year. No exaggeration.
Like so many other summer blockbusters before it, civilization is on the brink of extinction and only a handful of experts can save us. What World War Z does that so many have failed is give us hope. Hope that humanity won't dissolve into nothingness. In the face of sheer danger these fighters stand tall, take a deep breath, look the enemy in the eye, and say, "No."
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
- Epic scope: This is without a doubt the biggest zombie movie ever made. The exact budget of the film is unknown, but due to its prolonged and troubled production some have estimated the movie cost as much as 250 million dollars to make. And the film-makers really make sure you're aware of how expensive the movie would've been to make, with a number of staggering shots featuring thousands and thousands of zombies swarming all over each other. The movie earns its title, given the fact that it is truly a zombie movie on a global scale.
- Brad Pitt: He's very good in this movie, and is definitely one of the best things about the film. He makes for a compelling and likable hero who has to rely more on his intelligence than physical power. He's no superhero in this film, and his vulnerability and "everyday-man" nature keeps him relatable and likable.
- Action scenes: As mentioned before, there's a ton of zombies in this movie. And yes, a lot of them are CGI, which I personally don't have a problem with because there were so many it's unlikely they could've done a lot of these scenes with actual extras portraying the zombies. The hordes of zombies allow for some truly spectacular action scenes on a large scale, all of which I'd rather not talk about in too much detail, because the zombie/action scenes are really the best part of the film, so it's definitely best not to ruin the scenes by giving you too much of an idea of what to expect
- Use of the word "zombie": This didn't necessarily make the film better, but it was just interesting to see the word "zombie" used frequently by the film's characters. The word "zombie" has been treated for so long as a clichéd term in zombie films that it's now kind of refreshing to see it used so honestly and openly in a serious zombie film.
- Lack of gore: Now don't get me wrong, I don't need blood and guts in every single movie I watch. But with zombie films, gory violence is a necessity. You need to see zombies getting ripped apart to emphasise how they are literally the "living dead," and you need to see humans die graphic deaths to reinforce how much of a threat the zombies can be. But this film wants to appeal to pretty much anyone aged 10 and up so Brad Pitt and friends can get more money, so of course we get very little blood, plus no on-screen guts, severed limbs, or exploding heads.
- Shaky cam: This kind of ties in with the lack of gore; it's like the cameraman is shying away from the more graphic moments (it's The Hunger Games all over again). The shaky cam's only really noticeable in the film's first half hour though, while the zombie outbreak is just beginning, so it's not a huge problem. Still a little bothersome though.
- Unfulfilling ending: This movie does end in an abrupt fashion, and kind of left me wanting more. It ends very suddenly, and I kind of thought to myself- "really? That's it?" The biggest action scene in the movie occurs about halfway through the film, and the final zombie confrontation was fairly quiet and low-key, which just felt a bit off to me. That being said, the jarringly sudden ending could be seen as a good thing, as it demonstrated that the movie went by fairly quickly. It's just under two hours long, but the final scene honestly felt as though the film was at about the 80-minute mark. But still, the ending was a little unsatisfying, so I ultimately see the ending as a con.
- Unintentionally funny zombies: Zombies can be funny, and zombie movies can be part-comedy and still be great zombie movies. Shaun of the Dead and ZombieLand are both very funny movies that also manage to be pretty good legitimate zombie films (they don't exclusively poke fun at the zombie genre). George A. Romero worked some great satire into 1978′s Dawn of the Dead, by comparing the zombies in the film's mall to the mindless, braindead consumers who inhabited the mall pre-zombie apocalypse. World War Z didn't feel like it was meant to have much comedy in it with its serious tone and gritty aesthetic, yet at times I found myself laughing at the way the film's zombies expressed exaggerated twitchy movements, and the manner in which more than a few of them chattered their teeth repeatedly in a cartoonish manner.
- Slight lack of tension: The movie lacks some much needed suspense because it's basically Brad Pitt saving the world himself. Maybe if Pitt's character had a few allies forming like a "rag-tag squad" or something, and they went around battling zombies as a group, it would've made things more intense and involving, as a few of them would inevitably die along the way. I don't know, a few more well-developed side characters would've gone quite a long way in making me more invested in the film's events.
So there's my thoughts on this film. It's a mixed bag, but ultimately I'd recommend it. It's worth seeing at the cinema just for those spectacular action scenes, and simply so you can see the sheer scale of the biggest budgeted zombie film of all time. It's flawed as hell though, so go in with moderate expectations. It could be a whole lot better, but ultimately the film's still pretty decent, and a good one to experience on the big screen. It's certainly a fine summer blockbuster, but it's unlikely that the film will ever achieve a "classic status."
World War Z is a zombie outbreak movie that supposedly bases itself on the amazing book of the same name by Max Brooks. What this movie truly is, is a shamefully mediocre attempt to create a movie that appeals to the widest audience possible. Pee established fan base from the book? Check. Star power (this is Brad Pitt)? Check. Focuses on intensity rather than horror and gore to not alienate non zombie fans? Check. Safe, young PG 13 rating? Check. All the makings are here because this is what the big Hollywood studio wanted. Despite the fact this movie doesn't resemble the book at all, it appears that those attached to make this movie tried to make a decent movie such as the visually interesting director Marc Foster who wanted to make a movie with a message which would emulate the tone the book was going for. However, the big studio disliked this and demanded rewrites and re-shooting that damaged the relationship between the director and Brad and results in a quick, intense action movie that lacks the character development and messages it needed to be a truly memorable movie because almost every one of those scenes were cut so much to the point that central characters get barley any lines. While the action scenes are intense and enjoyable on their own and Marc foster adds style to the lack of substance but its just not enough to save this movie. While it is better than it had any right to be thanks to Marc, it needs more and it lacks in crucial substance. However from the reviews and box office reports it appears Hollwood has succeeded in creating a successful marketable movie that everyone will eat up and it will be too late when we all get the nasty aftertaste.....
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