World War Z
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A former UN investigator is thrust into the middle of trying to stop what could be the end of the world. Worldwide destruction sends him around the globe seeking clues about what they are fighting and what it will take to defeat it, as he tries to save the lives of billions of strangers, as well as his own beloved family.
Few monsters lend themselves better to allegory than the zombie. In the years since George Romero first set the shambling mold with Night of the Living Dead, filmmakers have been using the undead as handy substitutes for concepts as varied as mall-walking consumers, punk rockers, soccer hooligans, and every political movement imaginable. (All this, plus brain chomping.) World War Z, the mega-scale adaptation of Max Brooks's richly detailed faux-historical novel, presents a zombie apocalypse on a ginormous level never seen before on film. Somehow, however, the sheer size of the scenario, coupled with a distinct lack of visceral explicitness, ends up blunting much of the metaphoric impact. While the globe-hopping action certainly doesn't want for spectacle, viewers may find themselves wishing there was something more to, you know, chew on. Director Marc Forster and his team of screenwriters (including J. Michael Straczynski and Lost's Damon Lindelof) have kept the basic gist of the source material, in which an unexplained outbreak results in a rapidly growing army of the undead. Unlike the novel's sprawling collection of unrelated narrators, however, the film streamlines the plot, following a retired United Nations investigator (Brad Pitt) who must leave his family behind in order to seek out the origins of the outbreak. While the introduction of a central character does help connect some of Brooks's cooler ideas, it also has the curious effect of narrowing the global scale of the crisis. By the time of the third act, in which Pitt finds himself under siege in a confined space, the once epic scope has decelerated into something virtually indistinguishable from any other zombie movie. Even if it's not a genre changer, though, World War Z still has plenty to distinguish itself, including a number of well-orchestrated set pieces--this is a movie that will never be shown on airplanes--and the performances, with Pitt's gradually eroding calm strengthened by a crew of supporting actors (including Mireille Enos, James Badge Dale, and a fantastically loony David Morse) who manage to make a large impression in limited time. Most importantly, it's got those tremendous early scenes of zombie apocalypse, which display a level of frenetic chaos that's somehow both over-the-top and eerily plausible. When the fleet-footed ghouls start dogpiling en masse, even the most level-headed viewer may find themselves checking the locks and heading for the basement. --Andrew Wright
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Now, because I was unable to see the Blu-Ray edition, which was the extended version of the film with a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff on it, I had to settle for the theatrical version on a regular DVD. Surprisingly, considering all the negative reviews, I actually found the movie to be understandable and very entertaining. In fact, I was glued to the television set for the entire length of the film. For me, Brad Pitt is now the king of zombie movies.
The film pretty much starts right into the action with Pitt (an ex-United Nations investigator) and his family getting caught in a traffic jam in the city of Philadelphia. The zombie epidemic has already spread from Europe to the United States with blinding-like speed (in fact it only takes twelve seconds for a dead person to change into a killing zombie). Brad’s character, Gerry Lane, calls his friend at the United Nations so he and his family can be air-lifted out of the city. This does happen, but only after being chased by a horde of zombies to a roof top in downtown Philly. The catch, however, is that If Brad wants his family to be protected, he has to do what the military tells him, which is to fly into Russia and try to find a cure for the decease. This is the rest of the movie. Pitt flies to Soviet Union and then to Israel and then to an outpost where the most infamous deceases known to mankind are studied.
Is a cure eventually found for the humans still alive? You have to see the movie, but a sequel is already in the works.
Let me tell you that these zombies aren’t slow walkers. These handsome fellows can move fast and they take no prisoners. The special effects of the movie are awesome in my opinion as thousands of zombies pile on top of each other to climb over the wall surrounding Jerusalem. Remember, zombies can’t be killed, unless you shoot them in the head.
I certainly enjoyed the pacing of the movie. It didn’t really give you time to think, but I liked what Brad Pitt’s character was able to discover and the shootouts with the zombies. A female Israeli commando is bitten in the arm, and Brad cuts the arm off without any hesitation, leaving her alive, but with a stub. Fortunately, this woman is one tough cookie and can shoot with accurately with just one arm.
Being a big fan of the early George Romero zombie movies and The Walking Dead television series, I found myself impressed with this film and Brad Pitt’s acting. The whole movie more or less is on his shoulders, and he carries the weight without any problems, displaying his ultimate skills as a truly excellent actor. He makes this movie happen, and you believe in him and his love for his family. Mireille Enos (she stars in the TV series, The Killing) is the perfect actress for his wife in the movie. If Angelina Jolie had been in it, you would have expected her to go after the zombies and kick some real butt. Not so with Mireille. She’s the perfect mother hen who watches out for her children, praying her husband will return alive to protect them.
I can’t comment on the extended version of the film on Blu-Ray, or the extras that are on the disc. I do want to see them, but I need to get a Blu-Ray television for that.
All in all, I was surprised at how much I loved this movie. I want to watch it again and see if I feel the same way. Other people have told me that I’m crazy; but hey, the movie did make over 500 million at the Box Office, so somebody must have liked it besides me.
Most recent customer reviews
Yes, it is probably the definitive zombie movie of the modern era. Great photography. Great visual effects. Solid acting.Read more