Movie Review: World War Z

WWZ1So a couple of weeks ago, I won passes through a radio contest to the New York City premiere of World War Z, which went down last Monday. (And I thought VIP passes to meet Bush was awesome.) When I initially won, I was more excited about the thought of seeing Angelina Jolie (and her new breasts) in person than the actual movie, but it turned out that she was MIA that night. It was still cool to see Brad Pitt in person when he stopped by to introduce the movie after the film’s director Marc Forster spoke for a few minutes. Pitt ensured us that they had a good movie in store for us, and he said that we should get the film going and not waste any more time.

When I first heard about World War Z, I had no idea that the Z in the title refers to zombies because in the trailer, there was no mention of zombies. If anything, the scene they showed from the beginning of the movie, when everyone was stopped in traffic and they heard explosions, made it look like it might be some kind of lame monster movie like Godzilla or even worse, Cloverfield.

Brad Pitt stars as a former United Nations investigator who reluctantly abandons his family in order to face the task of figuring out what’s causing the zombie pandemic all over the world and stop it before it destroys all of humanity. I’ve never read the book it’s loosely based on, but people who have say the only thing the book and the movie share are the title. They wonder why Brad Pitt’s production company Plan B Entertainment bothered to buy the rights to the book, which is a collection of individual accounts of the ongoing war against zombies.

WWZ2Despite his underrated talent and tendency to take on a wide range of roles, I was surprised that he did a film like this, being this is his first “disaster/end-of-the-world” movie. This seems more like something Will Smith would do, not Brad Pitt. In fact, the amount of violence and the creatures themselves were somewhat similar to the vampires featured in I Am Legend.

The zombies featured in this movie are a combination of the virus-infected victims that are featured in 28 Days Later and the traditional Romero-esque zombies. The zombies in this movie would’ve been a hell of a lot scarier if they weren’t CGI 90 percent of the time. Personally, I find the classic slow-moving zombies to be scarier than the fast-moving zombies. This film felt more like I was watching a Roland Emmerich film, like Independence Day, than a horror film. It seemed odd to me that a zombie film is rated PG-13, and I can imagine that hardcore zombie fanatics will be even more disappointed than I was.

WWZ3I’m not the biggest zombie buff around, but of the handful of zombie films that I’ve seen, the remake of Dawn of the Dead
is one that really stands out for me. Shaun of the Dead was also great at spoofing zombie movies while simultaneously being a great zombie movie, similar to what Scream did for slashers. I can’t really see World War Z going down as one of the greatest zombie flicks in history, nor as a great apocalyptic flick for that matter.

Historically, I’ve never been too impressed with 3D, and this film was no exception. There were a few “jump scenes” that, although looked slightly cooler, I’m sure would’ve made me jump just the same. For much of the film, wearing the 3D
glasses is just distracting in scenes where they’re unnecessary, such as the first few minutes inside Gerry’s house. At least the official World War Z 3D glasses that I decided to keep are a cool souvenir.

WWZ4Overall, the film definitely look great, and some action sequences kicked so much ass that the audience erupted into applause. Although there are better zombie movies out there, you will certainly be excited and entertained, as long as you don’t expect the same thought-provoking political commentary that you’d receive from an episode of “The Walking Dead.”

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