I watched World War Z the other day and it was actually pretty good – I’m saying pretty good, because, it didn’t exactly blow my mind but it was entertaining enough. I feel that this apocalyptic outbreak genre has grown tired and I find myself wearily watching them, I think that if Brad Pitt can’t even revive my attention then it clearly isn’t the genre for me. I instead find myself blocking my T.V with bookcases and heavy objects so that this zombie film pandemic can’t smash through the screen, dragging it’s legs behind it with outstretched arms, groaning: “Braaaains. Braaains.”
World War Z directed by Marc Forster and produced by Brad Pitt follows, Gerry Lane (Pitt), a retired United Nations employee who has to save his family, and then the world from a, virus out-breaky-type-of -thingy’ threatening to wipe out the human race.
If we were to talk about Word War Z for its cinematography and use of technology, it’s a perfectly good thriller film. The opening scenes made me feel like I was sitting on a live grenade as I was in awe and fright when the mundane commute to school turned into a fight for survival. Unfortunately the film insists on running down old and tired roads when the children go missing, the rescue helicopters can’t get to them and the whole world has been ‘infected’. This is where the film becomes tiresome and I found myself wondering when the next plot twist would come, as they were the only things that kept me guessing, however my brother soon figured out what the cure was – so it can’t be that imaginative.
Gerry saves his family who are put on a military boat but Gerry is forced out of retirement to help figure out a cure, with the threat of his family being sent back to the U.S to fend for themselves – this part was entirely nonsensical and ridiculous. He gives his wife a cell phone with a number to contact him on while he follows a lead in Korea, as the genre permits, she calls him at the most inappropriate time. These small but frequent blunders turned parts of World War Z into a total yawn-fest, the predictability of viral outbreak and zombie films is expected and understandable, but World War Z cheats us by pretending that it will be somehow different and exciting. The redeeming factor of the film and the only reason I continued watching was that luckily the action ran as thick as Brad Pitts hair, and therefore this threadbare film was entertaining, but not enriching.
After he’s been to Korea the plot leads us to believe that there might be government conspiracy surrounding an email that was intercepted a few years ago and flagged because of the word ‘zombie’ but nobody knows where this email came from. Gerry is told that the man with answers is in Jerusalem, and they have built a wall around the country conveniently just before this madness ensued. That soon gets forgotten about, and what could have been an interesting side story is trampled into the dirt once more by a hoard of super violent infected people. Just when I was about to say adios to all hope of a decent story, the wife and kids are getting friction off people on the military boat because it is overcrowded and they serve no purpose, but as quick as a jump cut, that is also buried under a pile of dead bodies along with all the other loose ends.
It seems to me that Forster relied on tense atmosphere and heavy action sequences to mask over an overused concept in cinema, and failed. This is not the epic blockbuster it was made out to be, nor was it an exciting example of how genres can be twisted and changed to suit changing audiences but it is worth a watch for something to do. I wouldn’t suggest paying for it.