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Movie review: World War Z


World-War-Z-2

Disclaimer:

World War Z is a book written in 2006 by Max Brooks. This is about the movie.

So it goes:

Being a big fan of the book, I must admit that I went into the film very open minded. Having read Max Brooks’ post-zombie-war-first-person-geographical-history a few times, I was interested to see how it  could be made it into a movie. Knowing that there were several re-writes and wholesale changes to the script, I was hoping that they would scrape some sort of semblance to the book, but understood that it may not make for a good movie. Let it be known, the movie has very little to do with the unique way the book is written, but that doesn’t mean that it is devoid of its spirit — nor does it mean that it is a bad movie. There be spoilers afoot!

Our hero:

Gerry Lane. UN employee. Father. Hobby scientist (maybe?). Brad Pitt does the Pitt, and does it well. In fact, kudos to Pitt for not over Pitt-ifying the lead. He walked, ran and chugged through the movie, showed emotion when needed and let the story do the talking. Kudos to him for opening up a Pitt mine and sucking us all into said Pitt thus not enjoying ourselves because we’ve all eaten that ham sandwich before. Also, he is believable as a man who could unhesitantly cut off someone’s recently zombie bitten hand to save their life. That can’t be said about too many actors. I’d say him and and a young Carol Christine Hilaria Pounder would be the only two who could pull it off.

Zombies:

Well done en-masse. The swelling and manic frenzy is something that I’ve never seen done as well in a zombie film. If you were to mesh the clicking jaws of  the Lord of the Rings goblins, and Sensual Glow Destiny flavoured bath salts with fast ants, put them in a blender then set the blender on break dance, you would then have the WWZ zomboys and zomgurls. Agile, maniacal and orally fixated, they progress the metaphor of capitalism, or boredom, or whatever one thinks zombies are iconographic of, and they do so with very little gore. Also: They aren’t eating brains, they are spreading a disease. Neat?

Vague comparison to the book:

More of an homage to the novel and understandably so. I’m sure the sequels will encapsulate more of the first person accounts of what happened, but aside from some suggested references, it has very little to do with the book. Granted, you couldn’t actually do the book justice unless you like movies about interviews with loquacious recounting of the way things were. Maybe a Band of Brothers style could have done the trick, but the sheer scope of the book would have been hard to represent. The story at times gets a bit samey, but still had the ‘travel the world feel’ of the book as Lane travels from place to place to try to figure out how the whole zombie epidemic started. The characters were interesting enough but didn’t grasp the indepth feeling of the text.

The movie itself:

The story of a man against nature, WWZ is an action flick that does what it is supposed to. Although maybe taking the easy way when it comes to the book, and seemingly rushed in parts, it is consistently entertaining and delves into a world caught with its pants down. With that said, those who do not know that there are sequels planned may find the ending a bit of a boner killer, but hell, it is set at a refugee camp in Nova Scotia, so it speaks to my heart. In all the film takes us on a ride, hopefully sets up adaptations of the more introspective portions of the book and gives us a hope, an above average hope, that this is the start of something wonderful. I’m fully aware that I may regret saying that.

Highlights:

Hand chopping, scaling the walls of Jerusalem, Korean base, the idea we are still just silly mammals and the ‘mother nature  as sociopath’ monologue.

Lowlights:

Harvard nerd trips and shoots himself and too much of a divergence from the book.

In summation:

Read the book. The movie is good, but better if you read the book. The book is wonderful.

3.5 out of 5

mondays

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