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World War Z

WREN   (34 reviews)

Posted: 06/25/2013 | Comments: 26 | Rate:

Actors: Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, James Badge Dale, Matthew Fox

Synopsis: Brad Pitt stars in "race against time" zombie thrillride that is loosely based on the highly regarded novel by Max Brooks.

Those who are familiar with the story of World War Z, written by Max Brooks, know that it serves as a recollection of the entire war against the zombie apocalypse starting with “patient zero” all the way until its near conclusion some 17 years after the initial outbreak, told through a series of interviews. It’s been herald as one of the greatest zombie stories and praised (and criticized) for the bravery in it’s social commentary (most notably showing a glaring weakness in the US). So when it was announced that a film was going to be made about it, the general horror audience cheered. The excitement grew when it was confirmed that it was going to be big budget and have megastar Brad Pitt taking the lead role.

Well let’s start by getting all that out of your head, aside from the budget and Pitt. With the exception of the title, Pitt’s character being a UN employee, and the existence of zombies there is very little else that has connections to the source material. So much so that it’s not really fair to call it World War Z, unless all the wanted to do was secure the title. However, with that being said that doesn’t mean the film is bad by any means. Instead of the recollection, this film takes the “race against time” route and follows Pitt as he travels the world looking for clues and possibly the cure for the zombie infection. There are other dilemmas in place as well but in the interest of not spoiling the whole story, I’ll let you find them out on your own.

Before the film was released there were some setbacks and the requirement of reshoots for certain scenes. It not only pushed the film back but those keeping score at home, were starting to get worried about the final product. Anytime there is a delay or reshoots, that doesn’t bode well for what we’re going to be delivered come “game day”. Then when the trailer came out and the noticeable use of CGI zombies, the collective groan could be heard across the entire internet. Our magic 8-balls were all saying “Outlook: Not So Good”. I’m here to report that after seeing the final product, those concerns shouldn’t exist in you anymore. I can’t tell where the reshoots would have happened but they must have been an improvement because I couldn’t see any lingering issues with any particular scene or and the CGI zombies aren’t nearly as bad as they come off in the trailer. The trailers scenes are out of context and are normally the result of the camera panning away from ground zero to show the total carnage in play. While it’s obvious that they are computer generated, they aerial shots are done with in good taste and make sense in context of the film. It’s not the ideal situation but with what they were going for, the CG works here.

For a PG-13 horror film this wasn’t bad at all. I wouldn’t necessarily call it a great film and it pales in comparison to the source material but it was definitely entertaining. It was also nice to see the departure from the standard formula of putting different personalities in tight quarters and letting their social differences be the point of the film. However, when comparing to other “infection” films, World War Z does make itself predictable at times but its predictability is part of why this film is a fun 2 hour experience. Hardcore, elitist horror fans will hate it for a magnitude of reasons but in reality this is an easy, conventional action thriller with zombies as the catalyst.

still oh so ill
8,438 Posts
To contribute to the conversation... I really think the term "zombie" is a very broad concept today. People can label anything a zombie from the Serpent and the Rainbow voodoo version to the Romero reanimated corpse rising from the grave version to the Danny Boyle fast running rabid primal version. Are they the same thing? Not at all... but I wouldn't argue with anyone that called any one of them a zombie.

There have been numerous different depictions of the Frankenstein monster, but I don't see anyone boo-hoo'ing about that.

I guess I'm just of the mindset that I want to be entertained and I don't really give a shit.
dogfood meatballs
6,458 Posts
Originally posted by: Dickscraper

Originally posted by: Jason Voorheees

Originally posted by: Dickscraper

In response to Voorhees... the "running zombie" thing was fine in 28 Days Later because they weren't zombies, they were infected humans. Their blood still pumped through their body and they still had to breathe to stay alive.

I agree with you about true zombies with the ability to run.

well, that's kind of splitting hairs though, as they're always "infected", and something that doesn't die on its own is always kind of a zombie. even victims of rabies die pretty quickly if untreated; the body simply does not support dehydration, starvation, and the kind of massive viral/bacteriological infection they suggest for very long.

but yeah, the running and jumping thing, that would be ok with voodoo zombies or vampires, but the second you go with infection rather than voodoo, you enter the world of science and are subject to scientific scrutiny and that shit is just silly.

I don't think I'm splitting hairs. The monsters in 28 Days Later are more their own breed of monster than zombie. Their condition is caused by science, not voodoo or hell, as are the cause(s) of typical zombie outbreaks. They don't rise from the dead. They don't attempt to eat people and their guts/brains/etc. They attempt to spread their disease, sure, but that's only kind of the same thing. As I mentioned before, their blood still flows and they still have to breathe oxygen.

The only thing they have in common with classic zombies is that they're running on empty upstairs. Other than that, I'd say they're their own thing altogether.

fair point. no one has really addressed the longevity of either type of "zombie" or "non-zombie" though, so it may just be a relative thing, i.e., rage zombies live on without food or water for months, romero zombies for years. it would be outside of the realm of science [sic science fiction] for either to live forever, and if they did, there would need to be an underlying supernatural cause behind the "infection", as in the case of vampires or mummies.
still oh so ill
8,438 Posts
If I think about it from a purely scientific place... the Romero zombie is the most unlikely of all of them. The cellular decay that takes place in the minutes, hours, days, weeks, etc. after death only serve to make it less and less of a possibility the longer time goes on. Hell... some of the zombies in those movies look like they've been dead for decades and they are more nimble than I am.
5,619 Posts
Originally posted by: WREN
Raping zombies instead of flesh eating ones.

27,167 Posts
How noticeable was the fact that this is PG-13? That's my pet peeve with horror movies. Cutting away before anything too "gross" happens, no one swears when they're doing crazy shit, etc. Were there scenes you wish they took just a tad further as far as the violence/gore goes?
dogfood meatballs
6,458 Posts
all that, but for me just that it was kind of simplistic/less complicated than something designed for an older/smarter audience. it's always just annoying when something is kind of dumbed down for a wider audience, and this was, and as mentioned above, is pretty much just a standard "race against time thriller with zombies as the catalyst".
I have no legs!
43 Posts
I'm still not sure if I even want to see. I don't know if I can see Brad Pitt playing this type of role well,but I've been wrong about it before. I don't think I'm too crazy about the running zombie thing either.
Hail Caesar
3,756 Posts
I was surprised at this being the least goriest zombie flick ever. Im glad that they distanced themselves so far from the book, but for that reason it should havehad a different title. The only way to pull off WWZ would have been to make several films, each following a particular character. Also, i was horribly disappointed that they didnt even attempt the Battle of Yonkers, especially considering the budget.
All that aside, for a PG-13 rating they did a good job of implied violence. While i despise fast moving zombies and faster acting infection, there were some good uses of those mechanics in the film. My major beef is the title; false hopes galore. If anybody has yet to see this then just wait for it to hit Netflix.
Pulp Free
52,194 Posts
Following the book would work best as a series on HBO or Showtime, not a series of movies. They could easily get 3-4 seasons out of the book if they did a chapter an episode.
Hail Caesar
3,756 Posts
The Returner.
1,874 Posts
Whatever happened to that zombie who attacked that shark under water??

Now there's a sequel!!!

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