World War Z is just another of this summer’s overly-hyped blockbusters that will simply dash any expectations on the rocks.
Finally a zombie movie with a different take. Let’s get a good look at a truly global zombie apocalypse. Massive hordes of the undead that rush forth like waves or a massive, force of insects over-whelming everything in its’ path. That’s a really cool way to look at a zombie invasion rather than just the usual more intimate, small groups of zombies just affecting local groups of survivors. Waiting for the other shoe to drop? Good. Because the great majority of those cool fast-moving hordes of zombies is already seen in the trailers for World War Z. The rest of the film is pretty much the same old, same old.
Brad Pitt is Gerry Lane, an ex-UN investigator that gets called back to work when a crazy strain of rabies starts turning most of humanity into zombie-like undead maniacs. He is sent on a world-wide chase to find a way to cure this devastating epidemic.
So, there’s some good stuff happening in World War Z, but most of it all happens in the trailers the we all saw the weeks prior to this hitting theaters. Classic case of a trailer editor doing his job brilliantly. Got me into the theater. But the stories of the film’s troubles and reshoots kept a lot more people out of the theater than in.
Much of the early action – scenes in Philadelphia being overrun by zombies, and the stuff that takes place in Israel, are pretty exciting. I found myself tensed up and enjoying it. We really are shown some things that we haven’t seen before in a zombie film. It’s a great new perspective. But then the movie falls apart because Marc Forster is more of a drama director (Monster’s Ball, Finding Neverland, The Kite Runner), so when we shift to Gerry trying to find a cure, it slows down and things get pretty standard for this genre. We end up in a building with people having to try to get from one end to the other without alerting the zombies within. You know how that goes, right? The same way as every other zombie movie.
Apparently the rewrites, and reshoots, have taken much away from what the book was trying to say and just turned it into a standard thriller/actioner. But having two aspects of this story doesn’t work. You can tell there were a total of at least 4 writers listed, rumoured to be more that aren’t listed. Way too many cooks in that kitchen. You can feel where they changed things to fit a film that the studio felt they needed to make, rather than the one they should have made.
And if anyone out there is a horror fan, you will be inifinitely disappointed to know that there is no gore whatsoever in World War Z. Hard to believe for a movie about a zombie apocalypse. All of the real violence and/or gorey moments happen just off camera. You want blood and guts? DENIED. Go back to waiting for the next season of The Walking Dead.
Brad Pitt’s character, Gerry, is pretty observant and seems like a competent investigator, but doesn’t really get any development to tell us he’s THE guy to find a solution to this problem. But he’s solid here anyway, lending every bit of talent he can to his role. And frankly, everyone else is solid, too. At least those that really seem to have any relevence here. Matthew Fox is in this as a paratrooper but if you blink you’ll miss him. No, seriously. He’s on screen for about a second. I don’t even remember him saying anything. Can you say, “cutting room floor”? Apprently they spent something like, $ 125 million on the reshoots for this film. Clearly Matthew Fox wasn’t any part of that.
World War Z is just another of this summer’s overly-hyped blockbusters that will simply dash any expectations on the rocks. Even though I rather enjoyed Man of Steel, even that didn’ t pay off like I hoped. I’m giving World War Z two and a half kittenhands. It has some redeeming stuff, but as a whole it just feels as disjointed as an over-abundance of writers (and the bad decision to hire them) can make it. Why must people feel the need to dumb everything down? What a bunch of dicks. And if I were the author of the book, Max Brooks, I’d be mighty pissed.
~ Neil T. Weakley, your average movie goer, about to give up on this summer already.