World War Z (2013) Director: Marc Forster (15)

Plagued by production issues, World War Z finally shuffles onto our screens craving brains this month. BUT IS IT ANY GOOD? Fans of Max Brooks' book will be pissed off - there's nothing here that does justice to the wonderful narrator and his interviews with the people across the world who are battling after World War Z, the zombie war - but as a standalone disaster movie, it's okay. And there lies the problem - it's just okay.
Brad Pitt plays former UN employee Gerry Lane, who has really nice hair and a really nice family. Sitting in traffic in downtown Philadelphia, they hear a report of an international rabies outbreak and when helicopters and police vehicles start racing past them, plus people start getting all bitey and things BLOW UP, it's a race to get out of gridlock and to safety. The 'zombie' outbreak is tense, happens quickly and sets an expectant furious pace for the film. Sadly, it's a case of premature zombieculation as the rest of World War Z doesn't live up to this mindblowing humanity is fucked disaster - although Jerusalem falling and a zombie outbreak on a plane are pretty cool.
It all starts to get a little bit silly when Gerry and his family are rescued from Philadelphia by his former UN colleague Thierry (it sounds like Gerry and Terry, and is a little bit Terry and June). Apparently Gerry is shit hot at investigating things so the UN wants to send him with a scientist to find out the root of the outbreak. In return, Gerry's family get safe refuge on a US Navy ship. Gerry agrees, and gets sent to South Korea, the place where 'zombie' was first used for the outbreak - ooooohhhh. Things go WRONG.
Gerry then goes to Jerusalem as Israel apparently had prior knowledge of the outbreak and built a big fuck-off wall. Yep, they did know, and the fuck-off wall doesn't stop the zombies swarming like a big ladder and jumping over the top to attack everyone. Gerry manages to escape and get a plane, which crashes en route to Cardiff airport with some bitey folk aboard. And... ...*sigh*...exactly.
Only at the very end, does World War Z again show promise. We learn the secret of what we could fight back with. There's a little bit of TAKE THAT YOU ZOMBIE SHITS and a nice resolution with Gerry's family. The ending leaves you cold - undead, even - as it's abrupt, poorly put together and ties up all the sicky family stuff. Oh, we have hope - that's great, we can sleep well at night! How can a movie call itself World War Z when such a small percentage of it is the fight back? The book focussed on the methods taken to fight back; the movie pisses around for a bit, before giving us a tiny payoff of kicking zombie ass. I'm glad Gerry managed to sort things out, that's really sweet of him, but REALLY? Is this the best you could give us from Brooks' vision? Forster's Z has no soul, and the Resident Evil franchise does zombie disaster MUCH better. There are pointless loose ends - the build-up to the need for his daughter's asthma medication goes nowhere, and let's not even start on the dialogue. At the end, we needed bringing back to life. At least we had Brad's lovely, lovely hair to look at.
3/5 zombie shuffles

Comments

  1. So true Bicko. Just came back from seeing this and it's sooooo average. When will Hollywood learn that churning out this drivel won't even make them their money back! There's a reason the book was popular - because the story's bloody good. Nearly pissed ourselves laughing at the Welsh scientist at the end, aka 'the noisemaker', oh and while we're at it let's send a guy who's just had stomach surgery and a woman with one hand on the all-important mission. Did Brad even know what he was injecting in the lab!? Could have given himself herpes for all he knew!?

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