I Saw A Film Today… World War Z

wwzI’ve talked about fads before on this site. And most annoy me endlessly. None more so than the zombie resurgence. I love zombie films, but in the last few years the genre I hold dear to my heart has been bastardized by people who see how to make a quick buck. Am I talking about the people behind the television adaptation of The Walking Dead? To an extent. I was drawn in at the beginning but now the luster of the prospect of a good zombie show has been lost. And I had the same feelings about this adaptation of Max Brooks novel, World War Z. But, happily, I was proven wrong on that front.

Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) once was a big-time investigator at the United Nations; now he is the family pancake flipper. While taking his children and wife Karen (Mireille Enos) to school one day in Philly, an outbreak of people infected with a virus (supposedly from rabies) begins taking over the city. Now everyone is in a mad dash to get out-of-town and Gerry has a golden ticket if he can get out.

Once out (whoops, meant to say spoiler) and on a UN ship in the middle of the ocean, Gerry is given an option by his former employers. He can either investigate the origins of the virus or he and the family will be relocated to an area with questionable safety. Naturally, Gerry decides to take the offer. From here he goes around the world, from Jerusalem to Wales, all the while constantly perused by the undead. Or infected.

I went in expecting very little from World War Z. The ads looked very mediocre and zoms looked extremely CGI. While they are heavily CGI’d and the movie does dip into typical blockbuster territory, it was a surprisingly well made action flick. It is tightly knitted, with the action constantly flowing at a thrilling pace.

It is more of a thriller than an action flick though. And it’s not a terribly smart one either. Thankfully, the illusion of intelligence is offered. What causes the virus? Eh, something. Don’t worry about it. (spoiler alert for this little bit). A crippling pathogen can make you immune to the zom-zoms? Yup, sure can. Don’t think about it, just accept it.

If there is one problem that really stands out in this film is that it was PG-13. I wonder just how much better it would have been filmed as an R-rated feature. Not that I take pleasure in the gore, but a little blood here and there wouldn’t have been too bad. I guess what really annoyed me is there were moments when you could tell that director Marc Forster had to hold back from over-stepping the ratings barrier.

The biggest seller is Brad Pitt. Sure, Pitt looks a bit like a zombie killing Jesus (What a movie that would make), but he is the glue that keeps this film together. I can’t recall a role of his quite like this one but once again the man proves he can handle it. As does the rest of the cast. Most notably for me was newcomer Daniella Kertesz, who portrays a young Mossad agent. She has the spark and strength that reminds of a Michelle Rodriguez or young Sigourney Weaver. I look forward to future roles for her. And it was also nice seeing Peter Capaldi, even in a docile state I’m not used to.

WWZ may not be the best blockbuster to come out this year but it is one that will surprise you. But skip the 3-D. Not worth the extra cash.

Verdict: See it!

*Rated PG-13 for intense frightening zombie sequences, violence, and disturbing images.

**Thanks to my friend Cody for seeing this with me.

***Poster by Midnight Marauder.


One Response to “I Saw A Film Today… World War Z”

  1. Aaron Gilbert Says:

    Blasphemy! The Walking Dead is awesome! One of the best zombie shows/story lines ever, IMHO. Plus the comic book began 10 years ago, way before the recent zombie resurgence.

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