Sunday, June 23, 2013

Movie Review: World War Z (2013)

Brad Pitt and Mireille Enos in World War Z (2013) based on Max Brooks novel


UN Investigator, Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) and his family, wife Karin Lane (Mireille Enos) and daughters Constance Lane (Sterling Jerins) and Rachel Lane (Abigail Hargrove) are out driving on the streets as zombies are let loose all around them. Being the lead protagonists, they (obviously) survive the odds.

In fact, this happens a number of times in the movie. By the time, Pitt's character escapes from a mid-air flight zombie attack, I knew the movie had lost me. The studio is aiming for a lucrative franchise and killing off Brad Pitt's character is an obvious no-no. That just does not make any sense from a business perspective.

This reminded me of the repeated close shaves for the lead characters from the movie 2012. Of course, the argument can be made that this is what usually happens in a disaster flick. At least with 2012, Columbia Pictures had the decency of not trying to build a movie franchise.

Brad Pitt and Mireille Enos in World War Z (2013) based on Max Brooks novel

Coming back to the movie, the plot involves Pitt's character trying to find a cure for the global epidemic. There are a couple of scenes of massive zombie attacks that are executed competently.

The movie hits all the usual notes - Brad Pitt giving a lot of heroic/reaction shots, lots (and I mean lots) of screaming from Sterling Jerins and Abigail Hargrove as Constance Lane and Rachel Lane respectively, Mireille Enos as the stoic wife, characters thrown in peril and (most significantly) the main protagonist surviving even as supporting characters and tons of extras perish.

Fana Mokoena and Pierfrancesco Favino with Brad Pitt in World War Z (2013) based on Max Brooks novel

Speaking of supporting characters, it is the actors playing them who make the best impression. Fana Mokoena, James Badge Dale, David Morse and Daniella Kertesz breathe some life into this movie, that often embraces the spirit of the undead.

Director Marc Foster and Brad Pitt on the sets of World War Z (2013) based on Max Brooks novel

Marc Foster delivers another workmanlike product. It is no wonder that Quantum of Solace is the only dull entry to feature Daniel Craig's enjoyable turn as James Bond.

Click on the link below to buy your copy:


I have not read the book, but by all accounts Max Brooks' book is a smartly written take on global geopolitics against the backdrop of zombie attack. The movie on the other hand, sacrifices such nuances and is content to being a generic summer blockbuster, with hopes of a profitable franchise. Very much like the recent Superman dud, Man of Steel.

Brad Pitt and Mireille Enos fight against zombie attack in World War Z (2013) based on Max Brooks novel

Recommended only to die-hard fans of Brad Pitt and/or zombie genre. For readers looking for enjoyable zombie movies, I would suggest genre master George A. Romero's original movies, Shaun of the Dead, Zombieland, 28 Days Later and Dead Snow.

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Image Source: Paramount Pictures, Skydance Productions, Plan B Entertainment

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11 comments:

  1. Is this a spoiler review? Because near the beginning it started to sound somewhat spoilerish so I skipped past the plot details and on to the critical part.
    Marc Foster directed this? No wonder it is dull. Quantum of Solace had some of the most boring action scenes ever, it takes some serious skill to make explosions and fight scenes so absurdly dull.

    -James

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    Replies
    1. Thanks James.

      The only spoilers in the review concern the fate of Brad Pitt's character and an action sequence featuring him. Otherwise, the review is spoiler free.

      Agree with you about Quantum of Solace. That was one boring Bond movie.

      B2B.

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  2. I was almost going to buy this book!

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    Replies
    1. You should buy the book, the book is incredibly smart and this film bares little to no resemblence to it.

      Delete
    2. I agree with Daniel. I think the book will make a good read.

      Thanks Stacey for stopping by.

      B2B.

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  3. I did enjoy it a bit more than you did but I just accepted it's stupidity early on, probably says more about me than anything else.

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  4. I agree that if you're a zombie fan, you will enjoy Shaun of the Dead and 28 Days Later than this film but Zombieland? Yes, that movie is funny in a way but I won't recommend it as a good zombie flick.

    Anyway, great review. You can also check my own review and thoughts on World War Z
    here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Mikez. I agree that Zombieland is heavy on humor compared to zombies.

      B2B.

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    2. I agree with many points in the review. As a zombie movie, it is zombie-lite. The best zombie movies had characters who were not perfect but it was like Brad Pitt was the "ideal zombie fighter hero" who almost always knew what to do and it is impossible to feel suspense for him.

      I admit though, there were some good and tense scenes that made me feel for the supporting characters. The hospital scene was memorable. I wished some of the supporting characters had more development time, especially the one who dies by ACCIDENT in the first thirty minutes!

      The book itself is amazing, however. And it trumps the movie hands-down with its analyses from different points of view about how an actual zombie outbreak might occur.

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    3. Thanks Kris for stopping by.

      I too have heard a lot of good things about the novel. Hopefully, I will check it out soon.

      B2B.

      Delete