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World War Z (2013)

  Tags: action, Anthony Mackie, based on book, Brad Pitt, Bryan Cranston, David Morse, Drew Goddard, Ed Harris, Elyes Gabel, James Badge Dale, Julia Levy-Boeken, Marc Forster, Matthew Fox, Matthew Michael Carnahan, Max Brooks, Mireille Enos, Plan B Entertainment, Zombie Movies

Your rating: None Average: 5.3 (12 votes)
Reviewer Rating: 

Rating #: 
Marc Forster
116 minutes
Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, James Badge Dale, Julia Levy-Boeken, Elyes Gabel, Anthony Mackie, Bryan Cranston, David Morse

I'm ashamed to admit that I've never read the book that this film is based on, however I feel had I done so I probably would have a slightly different opinion on the movie. Either way, despite much of the production issues and the slack it got for being completely different from the source material, I personally found the flick rather entertaining. While the book takes place years after the zombie war and recounts key events that occurred during the period, this movie is told as it happens. We follow Brad Pitt as a father looking to get his family out of the city and in safe hands, but in order to do so he has to go back to his old job working at the U.N. and investigate the source of the outbreak, in hopes of possibly finding some sort of cure or prevent it from spreading further.

The movie kicks into gear almost immediately and doesn't let up, as the pacing is solid and strong throughout the near two-hour running time. Along with the pacing, the story gets more interesting as it progresses and we learn more of the outbreak and its potential cause. Unfortunately, I'm a bit mixed on the zombies themselves. We've seen zombies sprint and run marathons before (which I'm okay with), but nothing like they are here, where they're seen leaping and literally tackling people. These zombies seem to be filled with a shit ton of adrenaline and stamina, on top of having a complete lack of self-control as they're even shown jumping to death (again) and crawling on each other in order to make their way above a wall.

The PG-13 rating also definitely hampered the movie in certain aspects as well. Aside from a couple somewhat bloody scenes early on, there really isn't much gore. When dealing with a apocalyptic scenario (especially a zombie movie) you expect people to get incredibly violent in order to survive and you expect the undead to rip and tear at their victims. Not bite someone then quickly run away. Then again, that's essentially the idea behind these zombies--they exist merely to spread. An interesting idea, but also kind of a copout way to not show the audience excessive blood and gore. At least the CG was improved since what was initially shown in the trailer.

I think a lot of us horror fans expected more from a big-budgeted zombie movie like this, while what we got instead was an action-oriented outbreak flick. Luckily for me, I expected it to go that route, so I wasn't entirely disappointed with the end result. The movie offers a lot of small interesting ideas behind the standard zombie mythos, which both worked and didn't work in its favor. The climax of the film definitely seemed a little too convenient and rushed, but makes sense since a entire third-half of the flick was rewritten and reshot. Apparently the original dark and bleak ending didn't sit well with certain people, so new writers were hired to offer viewers a more hopeful ending.

WWZ isn't so much a zombie movie as it is an action pic set during a zombie outbreak. Whether you've read the book or not it's best to just go in expecting an entertaining popcorn flick and nothing more, because that's essentially all it is. Despite some potential lost due to the rushed climax and PG-13 rating, if you approach it with the right frame of mind, you may come out pleased to an extent (like I did).

Posted on September 11, 2013 - 4:34pm | FrighT MasteR