World War Z got a good deal of buzz and I’d see advertisements and hear news often. I had mixed feelings towards it. Anytime a zombie movie is coming out, I’m always very cautious. The concept has potential, but never seems to work out all that well. Aside from Shaun of the Dead, I’ve never enjoyed a zombie film enough to remember or re-watch. A lot of the time the plot will feel rushed or un-resolved. This is why the only zombie related story I’ve really got into is a TV show called The Walking Dead. I recommend that show for anyone in general, but specifically zombie fans. It focuses on the characters and the element of survival. Anyway… Brad Pitt did star and I’ve heard positive things about the book. So, I went in with some expectations/hope.
Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) – a retired UN agent – is happy being at home with his wife, Karen Lane (Mireille Enos), and his two daughters. Everything is perfect until one morning when Gerry drives his kids to school and notices unusual things occurring. Certain people are apparently going crazy and have started attacking and biting random innocent targets. Soon. Gerry’s old boss calls him in to try to find the source of this disastrous outbreak, or at least attempt to find out a cure. These infected (zombies) are resourceful and deadly, and Gerry is running out of time and places to hide.
Many different people were involved with the screenplay. Normally that’s not a good sign. Surprisingly, the script had a lot going for it. Gerry was an excellent lead character. If there is a negative to him, it is he doesn’t have that much depth. Even then, not every character has to be ultra-complex to work. You can get behind Gerry from the beginning and root for him throughout. I also liked how no one made inexplicably stupid discussions to further the plot. One or two borderline situations popped up, but nothing compared to what is normally done. Most zombie tale’s always highlight the after effect of the situation – the apocalypse already happened and you’re thrown into the world. It was nice to see the process of it happening and trying to solve it. There was no other way to go with the ending, but I couldn’t help but feel like stuff was still going on. Only, we don’t get to see.
The direction they went with the zombies had its strengths and weaknesses. World War Z uses fast zombie’s similar to 28 Days Later. They go a step further on a few as well. Certain zombies leap far and wrap around people, almost superhero type jumps. That aspect didn’t click for me. Tons of them pile on top of each other as well to form these gigantic globs. Everyone probably knows what I’m talking about, it’s been shown in advertisements often. Yes, it differs a bit from the norm, looks cool the first time, and provides scares. It does get ridiculous eventually, and planted a seed in the back of my mind. If zombies were THAT smart, realistically, the human race is doomed. Granted, before watching I thought the CGI zombies would turn out terrible. Overall, wasn’t a huge issue, but it can’t just be easily pushed to the side.
Brad Pitt is one of the actors that draws my attention when he’s going to appear in something. I’ll at the minimum look it up, but will mostly just go see the movie without hesitation. Pitt’s always outstanding, and the film’s themselves are usually up to par; can’t remember seeing him in anything I strongly disliked. As expected, Pitt is great. He isn’t given “stand-out” material, but stays steady throughout. Mireille Enos plays the wife of the main protagonist part to the letter. She was fairly nonexistent. There is slight chemistry between the two. Daniella Kertesz, James Badge Dale, Matthew Fox, David Morse, Ludi Boeken, and the remainder of the cast fit their respective roles well.
I had not looked up the director prior to watching, and was surprised to find it was Marc Foster. He directed Finding Neverland, Monster’s Ball, The Kite Runner, and Quantum of Solace. Lately he’s been doing more action type projects. I miss the subtle nuances of his older films, but Foster has an eye for action. Pacing had a healthy pulse for the most part. The third act does slow down and then slowly extinguish. It’s mainly has to do with what I mention earlier about the end. If a sequel is coming, then I can forgive it more than if this is all we get of this story. A lot of suspense and thrills are still present. Certain scenes (one from the middle stands out) have you on the edge of your seat. World War Z was a great summer movie. Summer isn’t over yet, but this was one of the best times I’ve had at the movies so far.