Three things to start off my thoughts of this new Zombie Apocalypse flick. First, people really need to shut up during movies; the not-so-quiet talkers in my theater are lucky I’m patient and nice. Second, let’s just disconnect the book and the movie adaptation for now on. I’ll post more about this in the near future. Third, let’s just recognize that this movie got made; with the production catastrophes that surrounded it I’m happy that this movie was made regardless of the quality.
World War Z follows an ex-United Nations investigator, Gerry (Brad Pitt) re-recruited to trace the origins of a world wide epidemic that is creating fast and aggressive zombies. The movie begins on a regular day with Gerry, his wife Karin (Mireille Enos) and their two girls when a riot of some kind erupts in the middle of the city causing devastation everywhere. We start on the right foot as it follows this small family’s survival when they scavenge for supplies and shelter. The film makers did a stellar job to realistically depict how the public would react to something this large of an outbreak.
What follows is not as real or interesting even though it promised to be. When Gerry attempts to trace the disease back to it’s beginning point we follow a very formulaic structure of action, cut scene, rinse and repeat. This way of storytelling reminds me of how video games are structured which makes me wish that that was the adaptation that they went with.
This wasn’t a character driven plot whatsoever. We taken from place to place because that’s where we are told what we need to do. Gerry isn’t compelled to do anything but follow the bread crumbs and interact with 2-dimensional characters along the way who help our hero but just acts as plot points. Although I wasn’t entirely bored throughout, it suffered from being too serious for its own good; a gripe I also had with last week’s Man of Steel. The resolution also wasn’t too interesting or clever. There was potential for it with the investigator angle but didn’t follow through with it at all. Gerry didn’t really have to work for the satisfaction of the resolution and neither did we which made for a hollow ending.
A positive note I can make is the production value and execution. There wasn’t anything astounding about the cinematography, some shots were fun to look at, but still didn’t have a unique aesthetic to it. The VFX were well done even if the zombies didn’t have a distinguishable look to them, but I do say that how they moved individually and as packs was frightening and believable enough. Mark Forester (director) made the action followable along and the sequences strung together pretty cohesively.
If I had to mash up two movies that World War Z borrows from I’d say it takes from the militaristic investigation of Zero Dark Thirty paired with the survival zombie edge of 28 Days Later. A fine concept in theory but together didn’t work in World War Z’s favor.
This is a Wait For Cable kind of movie. Sorry Brad.
Summer’s Best of List (So far)
1) Star Trek
2) Iron Man 3
3) Man of Steel
4) Now You See Me (Review coming next week)
5) The Great Gatsby
6) World War Z
Tomorrow will be the Monsters University review so be looking for it!