movie review: World War Z
Disclaimer: I have not read the book which I heard deviates immensely so this is just me going in as a movie viewer.
Zombies movies are flicks I generally tend to enjoy when I shut off my brain. But with World War Z’s trailer building up to silliness with the CGI, I went into the theater not expecting anything while being cautious. I came out of the theater with the same expression going in. The problem with this movie is quite simple, it’s formulaic. The scenario of main character’s presence always invites trouble then leaves, rinse and repeat. This makes all other named characters irrelevant. Brad Pitt’s character doesn’t really have enough development for the audience to care about him, even more so his useless family. I felt a disconnect to him and his family because there wasn’t enough struggle to have a dramatic weight within their separation. I don’t think the plot would’ve changed if his family was dead from the start. What’s interesting is Brad Pitt’s character hardly contributes to any action, most of the time he’s doing the running than the shooting. It’s the action that happens around him. Since this is a zombie movie, I was most surprised by the PG-13 rating which explains the lack of gore. The zombies here don’t tear their victims apart, they just bite once or twice moving on the next, and then the victim becomes infected in 12 seconds. My final point that I didn’t like (the last I could remember) is the ending. It felt like things got off way too easy and simple. So the main the character got the cure and is reunited with his family. My reaction was like, “That’s it?” The final act of the movie is probably the weakest part because of the momentum that builds from the previous acts falls flat. We have people sneaking through the labs for the chemicals but that sequence felt strangely off in terms of its consistency.
What I did enjoy is the pacing in the first half. It was fast paced and “in your face” kind of pacing. These zombies are viscous. Left 4 Dead zombies are punching bags compared to this. It’s almost scary considering their swarm and agility. The sense of panic and chaos is well done. These zombies can certainly outrun you and have enough strength to break in your doors. A scene where the protagonist and his family are in the grocery store taking everything they can, then threatened by gunners, main guy shoots the gunner with a rifle and then you see a police running in as if he were about to take control but instead takes the groceries which shows how things have gotten crazy Probably my favorite part of the entire film is the zombies climbing the Jerusalem wall rampaging in that reminded me of Attack on Titan. It was impressive enough seeing how vicious these things are but for them to be smart enough to climb over each other to breach the wall is quite a sight. As formulaic the movie is, there were some instances that I did not see coming. The young bio major who was accompanying the main character dies by slipping triggering a gunshot in his pocket within a several minutes after his introduction. I also didn’t expect that soldier girl to survive all the way through. There were death flags written all over her but her survival puts a bit of variation to the formula.
Did I enjoy this film? For the most part, yes. I find it better than Man of Steel at least. I don’t recommend paying full price on theater tickets. See it in the morning or afternoon during weekdays. I’m sure there will be a director’s cut when it gets home video release but honestly I don’t think I’ll bother with it. I have taken interest in the original book though.