World War Z – Movie Review

World War Z – Movie Review

Director: Marc Forster
Writers: Matthew Michael Carnahan (screenplay & screen story), Drew Goddard (screenplay), Damon Lindelof (screenplay), J. Michael Straczynski (screen story), Max Brooks (novel)
Stars: Brad Pitt, Daniella Kertesz, Mireille Enos, James Badge Dale, Fana Mokoena, David Morse, Ludi Boeken, Elyes Gabel, Peter Capaldi, Pierfrancesco Favino, Ruth Negga, Moritz Bleibtreu
Thriller / Horror

World War Z Movie ReviewMoviemakers in Hollywood right now are very nervous about earning back investments–a symptom of the economic downtown we are all experiencing. One response to this is the current trend to only make movies out of properties with a successful history: bestselling books, popular comic books, classic TV series.

When this works, moviegoers see The DaVinci Code or The Dark Knight Rises. Other times this fails miserably, like Green Lantern or Blues Brothers 2000.

Sometimes the end product resembles its inspiration only by sharing a title and a key concept or two. Notably, I, Robot and Starship Troopers fall into this category.

And now World War Z.

World War Z is a thinky book, a series of interviews conducted with survivors of the Zombie Apocalypse, ten years later. It looks at how various governments responded to the crisis, and who survived (or didn’t) as a result. It is well-researched, and presents a very different political world, where ideologies have shifted as a result of the last decade.

It would have made a great documentary-style movie. Not really summer block-buster material. So let’s look at what reworking and rewriting put up on the screen.

World War Z centers on Gerry Lane, former investigator for the United Nations. He’s happily retired from globe-trotting and being in the midst of danger to be with his wife, Karin, and his two young daughters.


Gerry, clearly, has connections. Deputy Secretary General of the U.N. Thierry Umutoni helps him and his family get out of an area that’s overrun with zombies, then send him on a mission. There was an email sent days ago that mentioned zombies. A doctor (Fassbach) is headed for the source of the email to gather information, and Umutoni wants Gerry to help. He’s reluctant to leave his family, but they come to an understanding.

Now Gerry’s quest starts–quietly searching for any information on the zombie virus and where it began, observing everything, following the clues from place to place and talking with anyone he can find. He is a man on a mission, with the fate of both the Earth and his family in the balance.

There are some bits from the book here, in the discussions Lane has with people he meets with, but most of the interesting geopolitical aspects fall by the wayside in favor of high-action zombie setpieces. Those were absolutely awesome. No question. Too many of them were in the trailers, but they still had a huge impact.

This movie lives or dies on Brad Pitt as Gerry Lane, and he’s very convincing as the reluctant hero. The action doesn’t seem beyond his character’s abilities (although he does have super-human endurance and pain tolerance), and you want him to succeed to make it back to his family.

The action sequences are exciting and it never gets too gory, courtesy of its PG-13 rating (a PG-13 zombie movie, really?).

This one does a good job of straddling the line behind action and horror, and it keeps moving fast enough that you don’t have time to analyze the plot issues.

Recommended if you’re willing to consider a zombie movie without the full-on gore F/X.

Reviewed by Elektra Hammond

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Summary
World War Z Movie Review
Article Name
World War Z Movie Review
Description
World War Z is a thinky book, a series of interviews conducted with survivors of the Zombie Apocalypse, ten years later. It looks at how various governments responded to the crisis, and who survived (or didn’t) as a result. It is well-researched, and presents a very different political world, where ideologies have shifted as a result of the last decade. It would have made a great documentary-style movie. Not really summer block-buster material. So let’s look at what reworking and rewriting put up on the screen.
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Elektra Hammond

Elektra Hammond

Editor & Reviewer
Elektra Hammond emulates her multi-sided idol Buckaroo Banzai by going in several directions at once.

Elektra lives in Delaware with her husband, Mike, and the cat herd of BlueBlaze/Benegesserit catteries. When not freelancing or appearing at science fiction conventions she travels world-wide judging cat shows.
Elektra Hammond
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