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Zombie movies are a dime a dozen, but rarely do they actually deliver something unique and thrilling. World War Z is similar in the sense that it’s not really a unique idea, but it sure is thrilling.
Brad Pitt(Fight Club, Inglorious Basterds) stars as Gerry Lane, an ex-UN case worker now living the dream with his family in Philadelphia. Director Marc Foster(Quantum of Solace, Monster’s Ball) doesn’t waste any time ripping Lane out of his peaceful suburban life into a world that is erupting into chaos. A mysterious virus of unknown origins is spreading across the world at an incredibly rapid rate. The infected or Zombies(hence the Z) turn normal humans into one of their own within seconds of a bite or scratch. Zombie hordes spread quicker than wild fire and before the world knows it, the zombie apocalypse is changing quickly from a possibility to a certainty.
Pitt and his family escape Philly with the help of his ex boss, Thierry Umutoni(Fana Mokoena) on the condition that he helps the U.N and U.S to basically save humanity with the help of a famous virologist. They have some ideas as to where the virus could’ve originated and these are the obvious first destinations. From here a wild journey across the world begins, travelling to Korea, Israel and finally Wales of all places. Along the way Lane spots a possible weakness in the virus and this becomes the focus of his mission.
World War Z is based loosely on the book of the same name, by Max Brooks. The major difference being that Brooks didn’t have one single protagonist in the books and the movie focuses on the exploits of Gerry Lane. Foster used the basic principles of the book but only lightly touched on most of them. The book had a major focus on humanity in general and the overall reaction to the pandemic, whereas the movie focuses more on the direct story line of one man and his mission.
As mentioned, World War Z puts the thrill back in thrilling. The action pieces are truly exciting and sometimes incredibly intense, thanks in part to the excellent music score. There is always a feeling of something big coming, an expectation of something magnificent, and in that lies World War Z’s biggest failing in my eyes. That big event simply doesn’t materialise, well at least not to the extent I was hoping for. One of the major things holding it back, is the PG 13 rating. You can’t possibly make a truly exciting Zombie action flick if you can’t include lots of blood, guts and gore. This lack of violence somewhat stymies the inevitable showdown of the movie.
Lane’s family, portrayed by Mireille Enos(Gangster Squad), Sterling Jerins and Abigail Hargrove as his wife and two young daughter’s are mainly a side story in the movie and you never truly get a chance to feel very much for them. Lane is a family man shoved into a bad situation he never wanted to be in and is played very well by Pitt. Overall the casting was fine if not spectacular, except for David Morse who makes a brief, but amazing showing as an ex-CIA agent.
Technically, World War Z is decent but nothing special. The CGI in general is good, but there are some occasions where zombie hordes look like something out of a video game, literally.
I walked out of World War Z feeling nothing more than satisfied. I was hoping to be awestruck and amazed, but that didn’t happen.
World War Z scores a pretty average 6 out of 10.
World War Z is now showing in Koh Samui Major Cineplex.