Directed by: Marc Forster
Written by: Matthew Michael Carnahan (screenplay) and Drew Goddard (screenplay) & Damon Lindelof (screenplay), Matthew Michael Carnahan (screen story) and J. Michael Straczynski (screen story), Max Brooks (based on the novel by).
Running time: 116 minutes
Rated: PG-13 (for intense frightening zombie sequences, violence and disturbing images
It’s an ongoing controversy especially of late about whether zombies have reached their plateau, it’s a question that I’ve been asking for a couple of years now and I still don’t have a concrete answer. I’m a huge lover of zombies, as long as they’re done right and at times I feel they’ve jumped the shark for sure, but then something comes along and breathes new life into the sub-genre such as The Walking Dead and I feel they still are relevant for at least the time being, which brings us to World War Z.
This film is a big screen, big budget adaptation of a novel by Max Brooks spearheaded by Brad Pitt and his Plan B Entertainment production company. Many of you by now have probably heard some of the controversy surrounding the production of World War Z. Let’s just say it has had its share of problems from the get go. After the movie was completed, new writers were brought in to polish the script, massive reshoots were ordered, and then there’s the PG-13 rating. Does all this negative publicity equate into a bad film? Read on to find out.
World War Z is told through the eyes of Gerry Lane played by Brad Pitt, a former UN investigator who quit his job to spend more quality time with his family. Lane and his family are in Philadelphia when a viral rabies-like outbreak occurs the world over turning anyone infected into undead zombies (Yes, they are actually dead). Lane and his family are caught In the middle of the chaos up-close-and-personal. Lane’s former UN employers contact him beckoning him back to help with the deadly world situation.
After rescuing Lane and his family and securing them on a naval armada, the UN forces him to head to destinations across the globe in order to investigate and find a solution to the zombie epidemic before it’s too late for all of humanity.
As a reviewer, it’s hard to sort through the mess of publicity both positive and negative for a film before I’m able to see for myself. I try to keep an open mind and not let anything sway my opinion before I get a chance to see something. In World War Z’s case, that was harder than usual with all the negative bashing going on for several months before the film’s release. It’s hard to keep that out of your mind when you’re sitting in a theater trying to watch a film objectively. Be that as it may, even with all the negative news swirling around the release, I found World War Z to be a pretty entertaining film. Going into the film, I wasn’t holding much hope for it to be good; I myself fell victim to the negative hype, but was pleasantly surprised at the final result.
The film isn’t great by any means, but it certainly is not terrible either. Unfortunately, I have not yet had the chance to read Max Brooks’ source novel yet so I cannot comment on how faithful it is to his novel. I found the film entertaining and exciting throughout. Like him or hate him, but Brad Pitt commands attention onscreen and does a wonderful job as a father trying to save the world for his family’s sake.
The scope of the film is important as seen through the experiences of one man who travels the world seeing the devastation the zombie outbreak is causing as he tries to find its source. Seeing the large scope of the devastation adds to the suspense of the situation and makes the story all the grimmer.
The “zombies” in the film actually are zombies and not just infected humans which I was glad to see. The zombie hordes “ant” behavior seems to fit with what I believe actually might occur if such a situation ever happened. The hordes would stop at nothing to get at the humans, climbing all over one another as they climb higher and higher to make it over a wall as seen in the trailers. The zombies themselves are fairly menacing using a combination of pretty good physical make up and CGI zombies.
Of course, as with most films of this nature, there are several points which seem improbable but I won’t go into detail as to avoid any spoilers. I was disappointed at the lack of blood in the film even for a PG-13 rating, it was pretty bloodless, there is no gut munching to be found anywhere in this film. It’s pretty obvious the filmmakers were going more for action than horror in the film which is disappointing for horror fans but still it’s a solid film. Going back to the negative publicity for the film regarding reshoots and rewrites, it doesn’t show in the final product and who really knows how much of that is really true, rumors tend to get blown out of proportion in Hollywood, especially bad ones. I would definitely recommend World War Z; it’s a solid watch even if it’s light on the horror and gore.
3 out of 5 Pentagrams!
Watch the trailer here,