World War Z (2013) Movie Review

Well Brad Pitt is back and this time it is really serious in World War Z. You're wondering, naturally, "another zombie movie? Seriously?". That's right, I'm dead serious...yet another movie about a zombie apocalypse. We have yet to see Brad Pitt in this kind of scenario. Some say that he didn't really play so badly, others have wildly opposing opinions. I find it interesting, as I look at IMDB ratings today:

worldwarz ratings

 User ratings are quite high, but the sample is quite low. Maybe in a few months the score will go down--I find these ratings quite exaggerated. The metascore is also interesting if you click it! It's pretty much a war of reviews! I read the moderate review from The Guardian's Henry Barnes vs. The New York Observer's Rex Reed.

World War Z is not a brilliant addition to the zombie lore. But it's also not the shuffling mess it was rumoured to be (source).

Robustly mounted, magnificently photographed and bone-crunchingly terrifying, World War Z towers above every other alleged summer blockbuster. It’s the real deal (source).

The movie was originally adapted from Max Brooks's World War Z book, of which the film takes the similar title. Brooks had written WWZ with extreme clarity and precision and a strong, serious tone. It was appealing to read the book, it was much more interesting than the title suggests. The story-line was based on a typical heroic archetype structure, very linear and, in a way, unoriginal. I find myself strongly siding with Henry Barnes, because it's been a long-standing problem in the Zombie genre to take the performance so seriously. Brad Pitt seems largely invisible and untouchable--despite the apocalypse, nothing happens to him that we see.

Here's a brief breakdown of the plot from IMDB:

United Nations employee Gerry Lane traverses the world in a race against time to stop the Zombie pandemic that is toppling armies and governments, and threatening to destroy humanity itself.

The storyline, directing, acting and the screenplay itself didn't invite this apocalyptic zombie niche any humor. Scenes were ridiculously, but reasonably bloody and gory. It still appalls me that the MPAA Rating was PG-13. Despite the blood curdling screams, the violent struggle against the zombies, and humanity's desperation, we're left with anything but a PG-13. This isn't your typical zombie apocalypse movie, but it will definitely fall in line among the top 10 zombie movies of all time because of the ferocity in acting, cinematography and special effects not ordinarily known by the zombie niche.

Zombie movies rely on the spectator's familiarity--the spectator knows exactly what to expect. The hardest part is trying to unravel the spectator's perception of a zombie movie without actually ruining the film. We've seen many depictions of zombies and I'm not really sure if I have a favorite, but I have to say the best, for me, was 28 Days Later--rage infected humans.

I hope you enjoyed the review. WWZ might be good for loads of people and if you're interested, give it a shot! I'd give this a 3/5 for its unoriginality and explosive artificial inflation and desperation from both the director and Brad Pitt to make this into something more than it isn't--it's just a zombie movie. Instead of World War Z, you're better off watching Sam Raimi's The Evil Dead.

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