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Review: World War Z

World War Z
06.18.2013by:
7 10

PLOT: WORLD WAR Z follows the adventures of a United Nations employee and his family who find themselves trapped in the middle of a massive zombie epidemic. He is soon brought into service to help find answers to stop the deadly occurrence from destroying humanity as we know it.

REVIEW: As an old school George Romero fan, the thought of a massive budget zombie flick starring Brad Pitt was beyond a ridiculous idea. Yet here we are with an action-packed, Brad Pitt produced zombie movie based on the Max Brooks novel WORLD WAR Z. Directed by Marc Forster (FINDING NEVERLAND, MONSTER’S BALL, QUANTUM OF SOLACE), the violence erupts quickly for Pitt who plays a ex United Nations employee (current stay-at-home dad) named Gerry Lane who fights to protect his wife Karen (Mireille Enos) and their two young daughters. The family dynamic quickly establishes WWZ as a somewhat character driven thriller, and it is better off for that.

Let’s get this out of the way right now, the feature film adaptation is nothing like the book by Max Brooks. Instead of individualized accounts, this is Gerry’s story alone. If you are looking for a movie with deep social relevance and a sort of reinvention of the zombie genre, you won’t get it with this. The material here, unlike the novel, feels familiar if you are a fan of this kind of story. Albeit, the human dynamic from Romero’s DAWN OF THE DEAD as well as the TV series “The Walking Dead” is covered well and good in WWZ. There are even shades of 28 DAYS LATER as they first describe the infected people who have suddenly developed speed and a hunger for human flesh. It may not be original but it still works.

Thankfully as previously mentioned it is easy to root for the Lane family. Brad Pitt and Mireille Enos (AMC’s “The Killing”) help ground this story thus making the stakes higher from the get go. As a couple and as parents, you certainly want to see the family survive. The focus on the Lane family adds a little depth to the story. Thankfully it remains that way to an extent, even when Gerry goes into combat mode to search for answers. The connection between them is never lost. Credit must be given to both actors as they fully commit and give strong performances. While many of the other characters aren’t served quite as well, James Badge Dale and Michiel Huisman as military men and David Morse as an ex-CIA agent add credibility to the horror at hand.

Marc Forster keeps things moving quickly throughout the under two hour running time which is refreshing. While the Lane family is at a stand-still during a massive traffic jam, the action picks up quickly and seldom stops. Several of the set-pieces are far more exciting than I had expected. Occasionally however, the constant falling bodies (the zombies or whatever you want to call them have no regard for safety) is almost too much that it is difficult to figure out who is who. If you’ve watched the trailer, you’ve witnessed the massive wall as the undead scramble all over each other to get to the top. The scene works better in context and on a large screen. Of course, unlike the trailer, you do get a closer look at these flesh eaters and they are effectively creepy, if not as terrifying as you may hope.

WORLD WAR Z works as an action film starring Brad Pitt, and he makes for a very good action hero. As a zombie film it works well enough that audiences who have made “The Walking Dead” a success will appreciate it more than they would have say ten years ago. Even still, the hit AMC series features more brutality and gore than you will find in WWZ. The PG-13 rated feature is low on the red stuff and many of the cuts and bites are off-camera. This alone may bother hardcore zombie fans looking for a little sauce with their violence. Surprisingly enough there was enough good that the lack of gore is made up for by tension and suspense. It still mostly works.

As far as the story itself, it does feel as if there were a few too many ideas going on and way too many cooks in the kitchen as it were. One scene involving an airplane crash leads impossibly to another. It feels ridiculously convenient and you have to wonder if there was something cut from that part of the film. Considering this globe-trotting adventure is so massive in its exploits, it almost feels as if they tried to shorten it too much. Instead of getting from point A to point B, they jump around a bit for the sake of pushing the story forward. And even though it may seem unrealistically convenient, the last half hour worked measurably better than I had expected. Of course, it’s guaranteed that some folks will take issue.

While watching a world overrun by these monsters and the massive explosions and destruction along the way, it helps that Marco Beltrami created such an unnervingly bombastic score. He, along with rock band Muse adds another level to the feature. While it may not be all that subtle, it amps up the nerve-inducing end of the world thrill-of-it-all feel. As far as the 3D is concerned, it is hard to say whether it necessarily added to the experience, yet it didn’t hinder it. In the end, WORLD WAR Z was better than I had expected, thanks to characters that were sympathetic and an extremely swift pace. This is not nearly the disaster that it could have been. As it stands, WWZ is a satisfying enough popcorn flick featuring strong leading performances and a fun time at the cinema!

Source: JoBlo.com

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3:23PM on 06/06/2013

Sigh of relief...

A true movie fan would be pleased with a positive review, but oddly enough there are some who want to see this movie fail and have been talking shit since day one.
A true movie fan would be pleased with a positive review, but oddly enough there are some who want to see this movie fail and have been talking shit since day one.
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2:45PM on 06/06/2013

Already sold on it.

Glad you gave it a good review JimmyO, however I was already sold when Katie Couric said it was great.
Glad you gave it a good review JimmyO, however I was already sold when Katie Couric said it was great.
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+14
3:56AM on 06/07/2013
With all the bad publicity it got before the release (reshoots and what not), 7/10 is actually not bad.
With all the bad publicity it got before the release (reshoots and what not), 7/10 is actually not bad.
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4:54PM on 06/06/2013
Surprised by the review. Regardless, I will be seeing it to judge for myself.
Surprised by the review. Regardless, I will be seeing it to judge for myself.
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1:45AM on 06/07/2013
I gave it the same score. I was surprised that it wasn't that bad. Brad Pitt did a decent job as our protagonist who's calm, not quite superhuman but who possesses incredible luck. It didn't feel hastily patched together and it didn't fall apart at the seams, I think Marc Forster did a decent job of covering over most of the problems brought about by the troubled production. The 3D was mostly pointless, I think it should be just fine flat. It's probably really watered down from the source
I gave it the same score. I was surprised that it wasn't that bad. Brad Pitt did a decent job as our protagonist who's calm, not quite superhuman but who possesses incredible luck. It didn't feel hastily patched together and it didn't fall apart at the seams, I think Marc Forster did a decent job of covering over most of the problems brought about by the troubled production. The 3D was mostly pointless, I think it should be just fine flat. It's probably really watered down from the source material, but it exceeded my expectations; pretty good.
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+6
3:43PM on 06/18/2013
Glad there might be a chance that the film will be good. I think I'll take my dad to see this one, he loves zombies.
Glad there might be a chance that the film will be good. I think I'll take my dad to see this one, he loves zombies.
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7:53PM on 06/07/2013
Respect the positive review but I like my zombie movies full of gore & not off screen. Like the review says even Walking Dead is full of gore & handles the human element in a much better way. I just might wait till its released for rental.
Respect the positive review but I like my zombie movies full of gore & not off screen. Like the review says even Walking Dead is full of gore & handles the human element in a much better way. I just might wait till its released for rental.
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9:49AM on 06/07/2013
For the most part I like Forester, so I'll give this a shot. Liked the book too. WWZ fans should read The Human Race series, a much better twist on the genre but without the zombies, or any of Jonathan Mayberrys books. I still want another 28 DaysWeeksMonthsYears movie too.
For the most part I like Forester, so I'll give this a shot. Liked the book too. WWZ fans should read The Human Race series, a much better twist on the genre but without the zombies, or any of Jonathan Mayberrys books. I still want another 28 DaysWeeksMonthsYears movie too.
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1:48AM on 06/08/2013
I'm too wrapped up in MOS to care about WWZ. Maybe I'll catch it on DVD in a few months. No blood and gore is an injustice.
I'm too wrapped up in MOS to care about WWZ. Maybe I'll catch it on DVD in a few months. No blood and gore is an injustice.
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2:55PM on 06/18/2013
Agreed.
Agreed.
3:07PM on 06/18/2013
WWZ will easily be better than Meh of Steel, very few films aren't.
WWZ will easily be better than Meh of Steel, very few films aren't.
5:05PM on 06/06/2013
7/10? [link]
7/10? [link]
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+5
3:16PM on 06/06/2013
Good enough for me. My expectations were a disaster, and this appears not to be. I like all kinds of zombie films, including the action zombie film, so I dig the action approach to this. Never read the book so that doesn't bother me. I will probably see this and hopefully have fun with it.
Good enough for me. My expectations were a disaster, and this appears not to be. I like all kinds of zombie films, including the action zombie film, so I dig the action approach to this. Never read the book so that doesn't bother me. I will probably see this and hopefully have fun with it.
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+4
1:37PM on 06/19/2013
I saw this last night in Dolby ATMOS, and had great fun. It soars in many areas, and although you could sense some juggling of ideas, I still thought it was thrilling. CG was good as they don't focus on it too much. The slower zombie movements were frightening.
I saw this last night in Dolby ATMOS, and had great fun. It soars in many areas, and although you could sense some juggling of ideas, I still thought it was thrilling. CG was good as they don't focus on it too much. The slower zombie movements were frightening.
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11:20PM on 06/18/2013
7/10 is good for me.
7/10 is good for me.
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8:00AM on 06/19/2013

No WWZ

No blood.. Pass!
No blood.. Pass!
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7:39AM on 06/10/2013
World War PG? No, thanks.
World War PG? No, thanks.
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+1
10:01AM on 06/07/2013
I'm a big zombie fan and will even watch the B, C, D and beyond movies to get my fix. I heard about WWZ before I knew the Pitt movie was being made and like any lazy person who didn't want to read the book...I did a Wiki on it. The concept sounds awesome - a zombie story grounded in serious amounts of reality - from how it spread, to the aftermath. Clearly, I was very excited to then hear they were making a movie of it. As report after report about the production problems came out my
I'm a big zombie fan and will even watch the B, C, D and beyond movies to get my fix. I heard about WWZ before I knew the Pitt movie was being made and like any lazy person who didn't want to read the book...I did a Wiki on it. The concept sounds awesome - a zombie story grounded in serious amounts of reality - from how it spread, to the aftermath. Clearly, I was very excited to then hear they were making a movie of it. As report after report about the production problems came out my enthusiasm slowly dampened. I'm now going in to the movie with much lower expectations. I'll be seeing it on Sunday - hopefully I'll be pleasantly surprised.
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2:32PM on 06/06/2013

"Even still, the hit AMC series features more brutality and gore than you will find in WWZ. The PG-13 rated feature is low on the red stuff and many of the cuts and bites are off-camera."

I'll pass. This is not my kind of zombie flick. Green bar for good review, only.
I'll pass. This is not my kind of zombie flick. Green bar for good review, only.
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4:58AM on 06/07/2013
Glad it got the good review despite all the chaos it went through to get made. I never read the book so the film won't bother me in that department while watching it. I am very much looking for to the film and some good zombie action with a nice human element added in.
Glad it got the good review despite all the chaos it went through to get made. I never read the book so the film won't bother me in that department while watching it. I am very much looking for to the film and some good zombie action with a nice human element added in.
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2:40PM on 06/06/2013
Redbox worthy....
Redbox worthy....
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5:48AM on 06/19/2013

Try 5/10 or below.

Horrible CGI and uber zombies ruin this movie. The way they are less like zombies and more like kenyan ants is weird. It was just a train wreck and you couldn't look away because you are witnessing the beginning of the end for Brad Pitts career.
Horrible CGI and uber zombies ruin this movie. The way they are less like zombies and more like kenyan ants is weird. It was just a train wreck and you couldn't look away because you are witnessing the beginning of the end for Brad Pitts career.
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2:46PM on 06/06/2013
So it's enjoyable in a way, but definitely not what you're expecting from the novel or what 28 Days Later gave us. I'll wait for the dvd is anything.
So it's enjoyable in a way, but definitely not what you're expecting from the novel or what 28 Days Later gave us. I'll wait for the dvd is anything.
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7:42AM on 06/07/2013
Yea... Fuck this film.. Why call it world war Z then? They have no business calling this movie WWZ... They could have given it a completely different title and they could have still really made a real WWZ film instead of this cgi bull shit!
Yea... Fuck this film.. Why call it world war Z then? They have no business calling this movie WWZ... They could have given it a completely different title and they could have still really made a real WWZ film instead of this cgi bull shit!
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-15
9:14AM on 06/07/2013
Marc Forster and PG-13? No thanks especially after what he did to Bond in Quantum of Solace. Disrespect towards the source material.
Marc Forster and PG-13? No thanks especially after what he did to Bond in Quantum of Solace. Disrespect towards the source material.
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5:58PM on 06/18/2013
If you're basing Forster's career based on a Bond film that was quickly made cuz there was a writers strike going on at the same time, stop watching movies.
If you're basing Forster's career based on a Bond film that was quickly made cuz there was a writers strike going on at the same time, stop watching movies.
-20
3:21PM on 06/06/2013
Not interested, a bloodless variation of an ID4 type story with Infected/ Zombies doesn't float my boat.
Not interested, a bloodless variation of an ID4 type story with Infected/ Zombies doesn't float my boat.
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3:21PM on 06/18/2013

no faith

I have no faith in jimmyo as a critic.
I have no faith in jimmyo as a critic.
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7:52PM on 06/18/2013
Nobody asked you.
Nobody asked you.
7:56PM on 06/18/2013
I'd give you a hundred thumbs up if i could
I'd give you a hundred thumbs up if i could
7:59AM on 06/19/2013
Now I want to had you as a friend ;)
Now I want to had you as a friend ;)
1:51PM on 06/08/2013

7/10?!!

What are you smoking or how much did they pay you?! This getting anything above a 5 is a sign of mischief. You are saying a movie with horrible effects (worse than Xmen Origins wolverine), boring plot and zombies that aren't zombies is above average in the scale?! Actually looking at all the movies you have reviewed in the past it seems you have some of the worst taste of all the great reviewers on this site.
What are you smoking or how much did they pay you?! This getting anything above a 5 is a sign of mischief. You are saying a movie with horrible effects (worse than Xmen Origins wolverine), boring plot and zombies that aren't zombies is above average in the scale?! Actually looking at all the movies you have reviewed in the past it seems you have some of the worst taste of all the great reviewers on this site.
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9:42PM on 06/08/2013
maybe you should actually see the movie before you dog it, and the writer who wrote this article and ACTUALLY SAW IT!
maybe you should actually see the movie before you dog it, and the writer who wrote this article and ACTUALLY SAW IT!
3:08PM on 06/18/2013
every time i see a comment you post, its always bitching about something. Troll elsewhere.
every time i see a comment you post, its always bitching about something. Troll elsewhere.
6:40PM on 06/18/2013
this is directed at Antarius. no sir I do not Troll, I just speak up for people when I see others judging them unfairly. I speak from the heart, and what I said still stands. if you haven't seen the movie you probably shouldn't be dogging it yet. I say this in love of movies, and not in hate. Peace!
this is directed at Antarius. no sir I do not Troll, I just speak up for people when I see others judging them unfairly. I speak from the heart, and what I said still stands. if you haven't seen the movie you probably shouldn't be dogging it yet. I say this in love of movies, and not in hate. Peace!
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