Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Holy Freaking Crap
Who doesn’t love a good old fashioned zombie flick? They’re everywhere, and a lot of them have the same basic structure, thanks to George Romero. Others have gone the distance, and have remained fresh in our minds as to how unique and memorable they are. A few I know first-hand are 28 Days Later, I am Legend, Cabin in the Woods and even Zombieland. Just because they are about scary creatures doesn’t mean it has to be a horror film. World War Z joins the group of memorable zombie flicks, and for good reason. That movie was filled to the brim with incredible intensity and action.
War veteran Gerry Lane’s (Brad Pitt) life is thrown out of balance when a zombie apocalypse breaks out right before his eyes. In quick succession, zombies multiply and flow the streets as if they were an ever-expanding flood, taking more victims as it goes. People immediately turn and join the rest, and it is insane. Gerry, his wife, and their children escape the madness, but to keep his family safe, he must join the war and find Ground Zero, track down how everything began, and find a way to make a vaccine. Throughout his search, clues keep going nowhere, but there may be another way to fight the zombies, there may be a form of weakness.
I like zombie movies as much as the next guy, but I don’t think I have ever felt such a level of helplessness towards the characters. These zombies are clamoring over each other to climb a several hundred-foot wall, running at fast speeds, and there are just thousands of these zombies that just keep coming and coming. Because of this, it’s a non-stop action film with some really insane visuals. Seriously, these people are going all over the world, so not only is there amazing scenery, but the CGI implemented for the zombies is top notch and intricately designed to produce some truly heart-pounding sequences.
This is also called World War Z, and a huge theme of the film really was done through the perspective of the military. It honestly felt like a war, and somehow that magnified the experience, expanding on just how much this felt like a different zombie movie. The other differences were explained above in the way the zombies look, act, and move. These set the film apart from anything else I have ever seen. I can honestly say that this film deserved its place as one of this year’s summer blockbusters.
Where it could have possibly used some help was in character development. It really wanted focus to rely on visuals and action, so there isn’t a lot of depth to the characters. That being said, the acting alone was done very well. They did their job, and they did it fantastically, especially Pitt. We may not know enough about his character to really feel for the guy in the way that we should, but there just wasn’t enough time for the audience to spend caring for the characters. For some, that may get on people’s nerves, for others like me, it’s something you can live with.
I’m aware that this probably didn’t have a close connection with the original novel, and I couldn’t care less. The same can be said about I am Legend, and I love that movie to death. I’m not going to argue with anyone about creative freedom any more than I already have…it just comes down to enjoy the freaking movie for what it is, and stop nitpicking on the book. This isn’t the book, if you haven’t noticed. Too much focus on that makes the overall experience worse.
Overall, World War Z is less character-driven, but thrives off of an impressive array of visuals and heart-pounding action that never stops.