Skip to main content

Movie Review: World War Z (2013)

GK Films
Runtime: 1 hour, 56 minutes
Rated: PG-13 (for intense frightening zombie sequences, violence, and
disturbing images)
Director: Marc Foster
Writers: Matthew Michael Carnahan, Drew Goddard
Starring: Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, Daniella Kertesz, Fana Mokoena
Action | Drama | Horror | Sci-fi | Thriller

Brad Pitt having anything to do with the zombie apocalypse genre is a new phenomenon for sure, but that doesn’t begin to keep him from running with his role in a World War Z, a film that tries very hard to offer up something new (whether it actually does or not will depend on the individual).

“Gerry Lane” (Pitt) is a former UN intelligence officer who has moved on in life until his home in Philadelphia is inundated by an outbreak where the infected masses initiate what is called (in so many words) a “zombie” attack.

With fervent protesting from his wife (Mireille Enos) and kids (Sterling Kerins, Abigail Hargrove), Lane is compelled to head up the highly sensitive mission to find patient-zero with a specially assigned team of doctors to create a vaccine. But when the plan goes sour, Lane is following clues with little help from the experts to get to the bottom of the mysterious infection that has wiped out most of every city on earth.

Directed by Marc (Quantum of Solace, Stranger than Fiction) Foster, the story comes from Max Brook’s work of the same title, featuring multiple accounts of survival when government and society have lost all control. With hefty deviations from the source material in the name of on-screen drama, it is that material that goes a long way toward accomplishing its goal of remaking the genre.

Although it is heavily debatable whether or not this was an appropriate role for Pitt (I can think of a number of A-listers who could have filled the spot more suitably), Pitt owns his character with amiable diversity, which is a good thing since the movie at first appears to offer us nothing special whatsoever.

A few of the same mistakes (such as personal cell phone use amidst full-scale disasters and a couple of the familiar “knick of time” saves) don’t keep the work from developing into a soundly watchable and almost compelling mission.

And while many zombie flicks lower their standards to include the same predictable nonsense and futile gore, all we have to really put up with here is humans shrieking like hawks (and why?) and a strongly mismatched chemistry between Pitt and Enos.

The dialog stays on the smart side while the story itself and its reliance on clues and wit rather than cheap scares is perhaps the saving grace since the plot tempo takes a while to build up enough speed to engulf our full sympathies, but the overall family dynamic the film shoots for goes a long way toward winning a much larger audience percentage than any film of this sort.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

When Jesus Turns Down the Glory: 10 Worst Ever Christian Songs

It’s a sad testimony when even the creator of a thing realizes that the product isn’t what it was intended to be. Well, actually it’s a good thing. It just doesn’t happen often enough. The Christian music industry is, shall we say, not up to par with where its admirers (and even creators and ardent well-wishers) would hope it would be. And when even the average believer realizes that their music is not market-cornering stuff, all should know that there is a problem.

Now not all Christian music sucks (you might even find a few rock songs from artists like Petra on Joe Holman’s ipod that he still sometimes listens to and enjoys), but what makes the stuff that does suck suck is that what sucks sucks for a number of different reasons. We begin the countdown going from best of the worst to absolute worst...

The Top 5 Most Powerful Beings in Sci-fi (Part I of II)

It’s a subject that is rarely tackled in any form outside of random questions on a message board, but here we will devote a sensible examination of it. Who – what – is the most powerful being anywhere in every realm of sci-fi or fantasy ever dreamt up by a finite human being? I’ve been contemplating this subject since I was 8 years old. At 39, it hasn’t left my mind. That means several things; (1) I’m a fucking geek. (2) I’ve invested enough of my life pondering this for it to qualify as an obsession.

As with all “Most” anything lists, we are faced with several problems, one of them being limited source material. A couple of these only made one or two brief appearances somewhere and that is all we have to go by. But sometimes, those situations let our imaginations go into overdrive and give us even more creative fun. The mystery tends to add to the experience of contemplation.

The Top 5 Most Powerful Beings in Sci-fi (Part II of II)

#1) The Douwds – From Star Trek The Next Generation

Claim to fame: This Douwd went from pacifist to mass murderer of 50 billion in a single moment of anger. He appears to hold the record for most murders in all of sci-fi.
Abilities: Just about unlimited.
Nature: True immortals.

Our winner, debatably edging out number #2, is a mysterious race of beings called the Douwds. We only get to meet one of their kind in a single episode (#51, season 3 - see the condensed version here) called “The Survivors.” It was one of the very best of any season. What little we know of this illusive race “of disguises and false surroundings” only adds to our fascination with them.

When the Enterprise gets an urgent distress call from a federation colony on Delta Rana IV about an attacking alien warship, they head over as fast as they can, but they are days away. By the time they arrive, it is too late. All are dead and the planet has been literally leveled…with the sole exception of one house and the small pa…