Cinematic Thoughts for Cinematic Minds
2013/ USA, Malta
Director: Marc Forster
If you like guts, gore and flesh being ripped apart, then this film is not for you.
World War Z, directed by Marc Forster (Quantum of Solace, Machine Gun Preacher), based on the novel by Max Brooks, is not your typical Zombie movie, as much of the action is left for your imagination, and no real graphic scenes are shown, unlike The Walking Dead, 28 Days Later, Warm Bodies etc. To say it is a more ‘realistic’ zombie movie, is pushing it, but it is the most accurate representation as there is no glamour given to the antagonists.
Brad Pitt (Fight Club, Burn After Reading) stars as the lead, Gerry Lane, a retired UN crisis-specialist, fitting I know, who is asked to help find the source of the outbreak of zombies after they terrorise New Jersey, and most of the US. He travels to various countries including, South Korea, Israel and, surprisingly, Wales, thanks to the various intel he has discovered along the way. Daniella Kertesz makes an appearance as Pitt’s right hand woman, who helps to quell the zombie attacks, and in his hunt to find a cure, a somewhat intriguing character, who did not offer much in terms of acting or help to provide anything to the story itself.
Like most zombie movies, there are a lot of cameos, including a hilarious one from Elyes Gabel, of Waterloo Road and Casualty fame, who plays a top scientist, and ‘only hope’ to find a cure. Possibly the best and funniest death since (**Spoiler Alert**) Marvin’s in Pulp Fiction. David Morse (The Green Mile, House M.D.) makes an appearance as a toothless ex-CIA agent, (the toothlessness will be explained in the movie), and adds some character to the film. Peter Capaldi (In The Loop, Local Hero) even makes an appearance as a W.H.O. Doctor.
The film itself provides intrigue and a rational reaction to a zombie outbreak in today’s modern world. The action in the first ten minutes is exciting, and keeps you on the edge of your seat, but after that, it slows down a bit, with the occasional zombie chase. We even get to see zombies in the air, as one has boarded an airplane, and there are moments of suspense in which you wonder if the leads will get away. The ending is very much 28 Days Later-esque, and leaves you wondering if there will be a sequel.
So if you like zombie films that focus more on human survival and the origin of the virus, rather than humans and zombies being ripped from limb to limb, then this is definitely a movie for you. It offers a different look and a different alternative to the infection, which leaves the audience feeling as if, and when, there ever is a zombie outbreak, we will have a way to fight it, and survive. However it lacks character, and that special something that makes a zombie movie great.