There aren’t many of us zombie fans out there who haven’t read Max Brooks’ apocalyptic novel World War Z. . . like 7 times. Many of us were thrilled to hear there was finally going to be a cinematic adaptation of the movie. We could just IMAGINE the amazingly tormenting film that was just years from fruition.
But? We got World War Z – the 2013 Marc Foster supposed take on the novel that. . . is absolutely nothing like it. Other than the title and a few very subtle homages, World War Z is a completely different undead beast. It’s a pretty unique and solid zombie film.
If only they had named it something different.
World War Z (the movie) was plagued (literally) with problems from the get go. Not only did it go way over budget, but the script had to be rewritten at least a hundred times. Okay, may not a hundred but you get my drift.
And in the end? The result was a pretty decent, albeit confused on what direction it really wanted to go, zombie movie.
Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt), who used to work for the UN, and his family are caught right in the middle of an out break of. . . well. . . something. Although they wait until at least half way into the movie to mutter the “zed” word, we can see from the get go that whatever it is, it turns people into wild deranged killers quickly. Within seconds quick. And? It’s spreading FAST. But luckily for Gerry, he has connections. And his connections get him and his family out of Philadelphia to the safety of a naval fleet. But his family’s safety isn’t guaranteed unless he helps the government (well, what’s left of it. . . ) find the source of this infection.
And so the rest of the movie follows his travels around the world, and lets viewers see exactly how the rest of the planet is handling the zombie outbreak. That, my fiends, is what makes this movie unique. In most zombie films the focus tends to stay on a small group – or area – and in certain news clips you can see how say Japan or Germany or some other area of the world is handling things but it’s most always brief and uninformative. World War Z took it a step further and spent a good portion of the movie in places like Jerusalem and South Korea. Side note: North Korea may be crazy as shit but they sure as hell found a unique way to deal with the outbreak (I’ll leave it at that).
Up and through this journey portion of the movie there is some intense action combined with some real cultural exploration of chaos handling and best of all? The idea of unity. One of the most unique parts of this film was how it was really us vs. them. Not us vs. them vs. us like it seems to be in most zombie flicks. Sure, there are bad people out there. But when shit really goes bad? I hope the human race ignores borders for a while and really comes together like they do in this film.
My biggest qualm (other than the fact that they should have named this anything but World War Z) is with the ending. The movie slows to a crawl quickly. Although I thought the end result was rather unique in that it was finding a temporary solution rather than a permanent one or even just the usual we all just die shtick – it could have been written a little better. Gerry picks up a military escort, Segen (who reminded me of our beloved Boris), in Jerusalem. And it is there, after chopping off her now infected hand, that he connects the proverbial dots. The zombie virus is an infection that feeds on healthy hosts. And anyone super old or sick from another illness seems to be safe from being bitten by the virus hosts (or the living dead). Obvious solution? Infect the general population with something – anything – to make them an unattractive meal to the hordes. Kind of brilliant if you ask me.
Although this flick wasn’t too shabby, it could have used a bit more gore in my opinion. When nearly 80% of the planet turns, I expect to see little waves of dead and a little bit more blood. Just saying.
If you can disregard its source material (like the movie did) I’d suggest going to see it. Visually, it’s a stunning film and could really stand on its own along side other fantastic zombie-themed predecessors.