Film Review: World War Z (2013)

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Occasion: Saturday night at the movies

Anticipation: High

Overall rating

 

A virus spreads rapidly across the world causing epic destruction. Transmitted via bites, it causes extreme violent behaviour and chattery teeth 12 seconds after exposure. Rather than present us with a gore-filled horror film, World War Z examines the logical long term steps which governments might take to combat the spread of zombieism.

 

Pitt is former UN operative Gerry, a reluctant hero, who remains determined to the end to find a solution to the zombie problem. Israeli actress Kertesz plays a young soldier, Segen. She is tough, yet her character has a sense of vulnerability. Importantly, Gerry and Segen are equals, and it was a relief to me that the film’s creators included no sexual tension between them, or detracted from her capabilities and bravery in any way.

 

But the film’s biggest stars were its zombie extras. Unlike their CGI counter-parts, who just made me feel icky, in the way hundreds of cockroaches running through my kitchen would, the live-action zombies were terrifying in close up. Some of WWZ ‘s most frightening moments were achieved by unnamed cast members, like awesome airplane-Muppet-mouth-guy.

 

—-SPOILERS—–

 

It is no secret that WWZ was plagued by issues throughout production. The film’s ending was hastily re-written and it shows. After 100 minutes of chaos, a voice-over tells us everything is going to be hunky-dory. It feels rushed and unsatisfying.

 

WWZ teeters on the edge of being an intelligent reboot of what some* might call a tired genre, but never quite makes it there. I wished for more exploration of the epidemic. I hoped for scientific background to the story. I wanted it to be a smart imagining of what it would really be like, this zombie apocalypse.

 

Instead WWZ is a fairly exciting, but forgettable, CGI-heavy, action blockbuster.

 

Movie vitals:

 

World War Z

 

Directed by Marc Forster

 

Starring Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, Fana Mokoena, Daniella Kertesz

 

Based on the novel of the same name by Max Brooks

 

*not me, I love zombie movies.


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