The Z stands for zombies, of course, but World War Z is an action-thriller, not a horror flick. Like TVs ridiculously popular The Walking Dead or 2009s more-fun-than-funny Zombieland, its a watered-down depiction of the days and nights of the living dead a zombie film for who people who cant handle a real zombie film.
In other words, its a real summer crowd-pleaser, far from the trash heap as years of bad buzz have suggested. That said, its entertaining without approaching extraordinary.
Directed by Marc Forster (Quantum of Solace), World War Z is based on Max Brooks 2006 novel of the same name. While that book good, not great was episodic in nature with oral accounts gleaned from across the globe, the movie opts to tell only one of its ostensible stories, and from a singular perspective: that of former UN investigator Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt, who also serves as producer).
Gerry rather reluctantly leaves his wife (Mireille Enos, TVs The Killing) and two daughters on a military aircraft while he trots around the globe, helping to pursue a cure to whatever virus has caused this pandemic. No matter his (thinly purposed) destination, super-fast zombies are present for a greet-and-eat. Repeat until the two-hour mark.
I give World War Z this: It wastes no time on setup. It doesnt need any.
What it does need is no pun intended more meat. I understand a PG-13 rating represents the films best shot at recouping its reported $200 million-and-up budget, but the movie feels so neutered and toothless in its bloodlessness. Shouldnt a depiction of a global catastrophe come equipped with a serrated edge?
And shouldnt audiences be able to see all of it? It could be the fault of the completely unnecessary 3-D, which results in a darker screen, but comprehending any nighttime action sequence is difficult. Forsters jittery camera and the Slap Chop style of editing only worsens the situation.
Although his hair proves a distraction, Pitt makes for a fine host on his travelogue of terror. Too bad Enos cant be in the thick with him. Shes such a headstrong actress that its frustrating demeaning, even that her role in this World War amounts to moping on a cot. Rod Lott
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