Thursday, June 27, 2013

Movie Review: World War Z (2013)


Oh, World War Z, what do I do with you? Way before hearing about the movie adaptation, I had passed over purchasing the book several times - I think the whole missive-type style threw me - and now it seems that I shouldn't have done that. Because now I'm going to read the book and have the movie images in my head, and that might not be a good thing. It took me a while just to get over the fact that Brad Pitt was even in a zombie movie, but when it came out to be PG-13, I was okay with it because that meant that it probably wasn't going to be a REAL zombie movie. And it wasn't.

I will stand by my spoiler philosophy and give fair warning because this is still a new movie. So... SPOILERS will be in this review. Not that you should really care all that much because the movie kind of sucked.

So Brad Pitt is this guy named Gerry who used to be some investigator or something for the UN when the zombie apocalypse suddenly breaks out in Philadelphia. Brad is needed at his old job apparently (why can they never find suitable replacements?!) and that gets him and his family a free pass right out of the ZA while everybody else has to just fend for themselves. Anyway, so they go to this ship and other UN guys convince Brad to travel the world with a virologist to not only find the source of the infection, but of course also find a way to stop the zombies. Don't forget your comb for that lovely hair, Brad.

I went into this movie both wanting to like it and knowing I was going to be disappointed. It's a zombie blockbuster, for crying out loud. Blockbusters mean shit movies for a lot of money and this time they just added zombies - so zombie fans, don't get your panties in a bunch. You already know this is not going to be your new favorite zombie movie or anything. I did surprisingly manage to find a few things I at least tolerated in World War Z, so we'll start with those. The whole globe-trotting aspect of the movie was appealing on some level, as many zombie movies focus on a few individuals in one place. That made it a bit more exciting than some other zombie flicks and at least kept the plot moving fast so we could get to the end. It also gave us a look at how they are dealing with the zombies in other parts of the world - at least for a minute until they have a big action sequence and then quickly trek to the next location.

By doing this, they drop the whole social commentary or survival instinct or whatever issues that most zombie stories have. And I'm thinking that they avoided this because that would require some sort of emotion, and that sure as hell is not what they were looking to make here. Yup, World War Z, who promised us zombies and fun, becomes another pointless, soulless, forgettable action flick that (hopefully) will not make any money past its first run at the box office after everyone figures out that it sucks.

My goodness, there were so many just plain ridiculous things happening here that I couldn't keep up. First of all, Brad is supposed to go on this global mission with a UN doctor who manages to shoot himself in the head at almost the very second that they touch down in the first location. No, really. Why introduce a character who seems like he's going to be important if you're going to kill him before he fucking does anything? Who writes this shit? Who thinks it's a good idea to explode a grenade in an airplane? Why did a little microphone feedback make the zombies go crazy when the sounds of thousands of people, vehicles, and machinery in a small space did not?

This is perhaps the first zombie movie I've seen that shows an almost unprecedented amount of zombies and yet has little to no zombie action. It's PG-13, I get it. Still, there is not a drop of blood and wherever there should have been blood, they did it off-camera. So frustrating for this little gorehound right here. As for the now infamous "zombie pile-up" thing... yeah, I hated it. I hated it when I saw it in the previews, and hated it possibly even more when I finally saw the film. It was the CGI - which I am not entirely against unless it is on a scale like this. Let me explain it again: Yes, I know movies are fake, but in order to get me into the story which is what movies are supposed to do, I shouldn't be able to tell that it is fake. All those little CGI zombies scrambling like monkeys over each other to make it up this big wall in like, a minute? Ugh, I just saw it as a waste of money.

And seriously, were these things zombies or pterodactyls? Like, what the hell was that sound they were making? 'Cause I was thinking baby pterodactyls, I don't know about you. And every time that one zombie at the WHO building clicked his teeth together, the entire audience I was watching the movie with laughed their heads off. In fact, there was a lot more laughing at this movie than I think the filmmakers intended there to be.

The consensus among the group that I saw World War Z with was at first positive. Not a super-love reaction but an "Eh, that was alright" kind of thing, and that was my initial reaction as well. Thinking about it later, though, made me realize how much I didn't like it. I also realize now that this is and was perhaps never going to be a zombie movie in the way I was thinking - just an action movie that happens to have some zombies. So if you like that sort of thing, watch World War Z. If you actually like zombies, don't watch World War Z.

So was there a best or favorite part of this movie? Yes. The Raisinettes I got at the theater. Haven't had those things in a long time and they were delicious.

8 comments:

  1. I'll warn you that you'll have no issues with images from the movie clouding your ability to read the book because they have zero in common outside of the name.

    The movie is generic and sterile, watchable but not great by any stretch.

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  2. "Pointless, soulless, forgettable." - Yup, that's what it is, but I think I hate it a bit more than you ;)

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  3. I thought they sounded more like velociraptors :) Solid review.

    I might be the only fan of the book who still found a way to enjoy the movie. That being said, it STILL shouldn't have been called World War Z.

    Actually, I might be the only zombie fanatic that enjoyed it as well...

    I respect that they tried something different. I mean, how do you do a Romero-style zombie epidemic in the wake of The Walking Dead and not make it look like a condensed version of that show?

    http://www.zombiehall.com/2013/06/world-war-z.html

    Seriously, the film had potential. Its failure to live up to that potential, is probably what frustrated me the most.

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  4. Replies
    1. Right, well, I'd obviously rather not do that, but thank you.

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  5. I'm late to the party, but love your review. I enjoyed it for what it was, which would be a pale imitation of a real horror movie, but felt let down since the pedigree implied something a little meatier. WWZ, the Brooks novel(?) was great fun, but got a little weary toward the end. As an historical document, it felt authentic. Not much about the WWZ, the movie, felt authentic at all. Anywho, once again, great review.

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  7. The ultimate strength of World War Z is its ability to consistently create ticking-clock situations for its characters after laying out very specific parameters.

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