Having not read the book by Max Brooks, I watched WORLD WAR Z in the theater with fresh eyes. I remember enjoying it much more than I expected. I had heard that it was a troubled production and that there was a lot of tinkering done to the movie in post. Watching it again on Blu-Ray, I enjoyed it just as much as the first time.
Certainly not a seminal zombie film by any stretch of the imagination, it is still interesting to see a zombie apocalypse on a global scale with the budget to back it up. Due to the nature of the subgenre, most zombie films are produced with lower budgets and other than the RESIDENT EVIL franchise are more character parables, than action extravaganzas. The only film that comes close would be I AM LEGEND and those are not zombies (even though they look similar).
The filmed story follows Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt), a United Nations operative who has seen a lot in his years. So much so that he has opted for a desk job to be closer to his family. But when the zombie plague hits, he is called back into service much to the dismay of his wife Karin (Mireille Enos). They need his help to find a way to stop the end of the world.
His journey will have him hopscotching around the globe nearly avoiding death (and resurrection) at all times. Marc Forster (Quantum of Solace) does a good job of keeping the pacing ratcheted to 10 with nary a moment to breathe. There is a certain suspension of disbelief required, but hey, it’s a zombie film, so I’m assuming you can do that.
The cast does a commendable job keeping you caring about the fate of the world; especially Pitt who I’m starting to believe is simply incapable of giving a bad performance. It’s also cool to see pre-“13th Doctor” Peter Capaldi as a scientist working for the World Health Organization (That’s W.H.O. in case you didn’t catch it).
The scope of the film is epic, though I could have done with less CGI FX from the zombie hordes. They create a hive-like terror, which is aptly used, but it just feels so digital and frenzied that it continually pulled me out of the action and decreased the threat level.
If you are a fan of zombie films, Brad Pitt, or like a little horror in your blockbuster movies than WORLD WAR Z is worth watching. It’s well made and thrilling and certainly entertaining.