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“World War Z” – Review (SO-SO)

July 4, 2013

wwzI’m the BIGGEST fan of Max Brooks double duty zombie novels, The Zombie Survival Guide & of course his greatest masterpiece, World War Z. When I heard a movie was being made my excitement sky rocketed through the roof. Brad Pitt was to produce and star? YES! Sign me up, I’m there. Then the announcements about the production woes began to make me a tad nervous, and finally a trailer surfaced.

WHAT!?!

The reason why the book was so brilliant was the fact it takes a realistic approach of meeting with different survivors of the war and get a first encounter perspective on what they thought the war, the zombies, everything that happened mean’t. Why did this movie have to be set in the actual war itself? It became a generic action blockbuster with barely any heart or strong themes to hold it all up.

The story revolves around a United Nations employee Gerry Lane (Pitt), who traverses the world in a race against time to stop a pandemic that is toppling armies and governments and threatening to decimate humanity itself. Zombies. Lane globe trots around the world in search for answers, instead he’s come across greater challenges of trust and fear.

I will give the movie credit, there were some smart elements at play here, particularly near the end when they learn how to level the playing field with the zombie virus. But, we barely get any exposition regarding the zombie pandemic or any crucial development on the characters. The book spans across the world too, but the fact that we learn from different survivors and their accounts creates a far greater narrative structure than some run of the mill action movie.

Today we live in a age where the zombie subgenre is considered cool (again). We can probably attribute this to “The Walking Dead” tv series and comics phenomenon. To me, both these mediums have found effective ways to make their monsters and human counterparts ‘scary’. “World War Z” barely scared me, ok I may have jumped a few times, but I wasn’t scared. Half the time these zombies look like the CGI creatures from “I Am Legend” and the other half when they’re in prosthetic make-up they don’t look scary enough, because we got a PG-13 movie, which should NOT have been the case.

By the end of the film, it left me undecided on the zombie genre, should we continue on in the cinema world or can we lay these brain suckers to rest? The movie does one thing somewhat right, it ends with a perfect open book ending to give us a sequel that could follow the actual source material with justice. But, will the filmmakers even attempt to do this? I don’t know, frankly I don’t have many high hopes.

GRADE: C

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