Newest Review: ... terms of premise, and great action sequences made it easy and entertaining to watch, just don't expect too much. DVD released 2013, runn... more
World War Z
World War Z (DVD)
Member Name: goldenbat666
World War Z (DVD)
Advantages: So many exhilarating chases, fast-moving pace
Disadvantages: Very, very simple set of ideas, slightly repetitive
When it comes to villains, there is nothing scarier or more troublesome than those who have absolutely no concept of fear whatsoever. They're not afraid to do anything, they don't think, and to get whatever it is they want, they will literally do anything possible, regardless of consequences. And so when most of the world's population turns into such villains, you know you're in a bit of a tricky situation when all they'll ever do is chase after you. After infected with this rabies-like virus, people have around 12 seconds before they start turning. After the transition is complete, there is no going back - and like a rabid dog, they run wild, like the zombies in Danny Boyle's terrifying "28 Days/Weeks Later" films. And oh do they run for sure.
It was supposed to be an ordinary day for Gerry (Brad Pitt) and his family; his wife Karin (Mireille Enos) and their two young daughters Rachel and Constance (the appropriately adorable Abigail Hargrove and Sterling Jerins). But within 5 minutes of the film's running time, there's an explosion, and so starts the mass panic in Philadelphia captured in some incredible aerial shots of a hysterical mass running for their lives. Destination? Not certain. But everyone runs like hell - this includes the men who have control over the cameras. Some chase scenes are yanked around so much all over the place this might as well have been a found-footage film. Of course this hectic madness and chaos add to the film's overall state of intense fear, but there are moments when the shaky cams are having a little too much fun, losing a grip a few too many times.
After a decent chase in Phily, Gerry and his family is rescued onto a ship, thanks to his former job as an investigator for the United Nations. Working for the UN, Gerry went to dangerous parts of the world over the years, which is exactly what the international organisation wants from him now, to try and figure out the origin of this disease and possibly secure a cure. This gives the film a great chance to dump the family in a safe zone and let Brad get on with the rest of the action, as if there is one thing thrillers like this don't need, it's screaming helpless victims who constantly need saving. Further on in the film, they do check back intermittently, reminding us of their existence and that they're alive. Which is great news for Gerry, although the film barely has any time for developing closeness or heart between family members. They exist to give Gerry purpose in his mission, and a reason for him to carry on even in the most dire circumstances.
His investigation first leads to an American military base in South Korea where this disease spread supposedly started. After a chase in the dark and another shoot-out with these creatures, Gerry heads to Jerusalem, where they had built walls surrounding the city to keep them safe from the vile beings. How did Jerusalem know to pu their defences up? There is an explanation - just a very swift and vague one that doesn't quite fly when it comes to believability. They think they're safe, but oh how wrong could they be...? It's not long before the city is plagued with these zombies in one terrifying sequence where they pile on top of each other to make a mountain of themselves to climb over the walls. Once they're in, we're in for another breathtaking chase. There is of course the obligatory aerial shot - and even though such ideas seem repetitive, when this is thrown in with such visceral pace and energy, it's difficult not to be completely swept up by the excitement.
As if getting attacked on an enclosed city wasn't enough of a nail-biting-tension experience, Gerry faces terror again but up in the air, in the claustrophobic space of a plane. That's right: how will Gerry survive this one? Because this truly is a showcase for one human being's repeated successes in walking away from impossible scenarios. And as such, there are many, many boundaries pushed to the limit in terms of realism. But there is no need to be overly critical or pedantic when the action is this top-notch.
The final showdown takes Gerry to a World Health Organisation centre in Wales (this is quite the lucky find in itself), and by witnessing various habits of these creatures, he has figured out a risky but possible way of dealing with them; and this is a method so outrageous that figuring it out on your own will require quite a stretch of your imagination. Set up like the final mission in a video game where the protagonist and a couple of helpers enter a dangerous "hive" of some sorts to complete his mission of potentially discovering a cure, it all ends predictably of course, although the narrator seems to suggest there is still a long way to go for humanity - a hint at a sequel perhaps? If the energy keeps up with this entry, then they studios should go right on ahead.
Now the book this is based on has been praised for completely reinventing the zombie genre as well as tackling various social/political issues within its text. The book also deals with several narrative threads, ones that cover a longer period than depicted here, and is more international oriented in its portrayal. The film has been stripped completely from such themes, veers so far away from everything to truly make you wonder just how much of the book has really been adapted in the end. But perhaps as a summer blockbuster, it's better because of the outrageous simplicity.
For a feature holding a "15" certificate, the film is surprisingly reluctant to get its hands bloody and dirty, with very few, if any, gory scenes given the genre. There is very little action in terms of combat - no, this is all about running away...constantly. Repetitive? Yes. But absolutely pulse-poundingly thrilling nonetheless.
Summary: When you have sprinting zombies diving towards helicopters, you know it's going to be a good ride