Let me state out front that I didn’t dislike World War Z. I’m sure it will sound like it. Just pretend I am reading this review in a sing-songy, happy voice.
I also didn’t read the book.
I was not blown away. It was a zombie movie, there’s no doubt about that. However, from what I had been hearing, it was something magical, new and wonderful.
It was none of those things. It was just another zombie movie. Albeit, one with a huge budget and some good actors.
I like Brad Pitt. I think he’s funny. He wasn’t trying to be funny in this movie. That’s a shame.
I really enjoyed the opening setup of the film. It came on straight away and it was chaos. You know how I like chaos and getting to the fucking point.
After that, it was pretty much what you expect from every zombie movie. The zombies were speedy. We’ve seen speedy zombies, or Zekes, as the soldier fellers call them in this film. There were location changes instead of holing up in one spot, but that isn’t unique. There have been some zombie flicks with people on the move. The use of planes to get from point to point was interesting, I guess, if it weren’t for some of the nonsensical nonsense surrounding these trips.
The central motivation for Gerry with a G, the main character, was to determine the origin of the problem. Zombie 1. This never happens and doesn’t even seem to matter. Gerry instead finds a way. Sort of. If you want to just go with it, you can. I didn’t.
The real heart of a zombie flick isn’t really the zombies. It is the people. How they behave, how they survive, deep thoughts on who we are and how we treat our environment. Even, in some cases, the very same concerns from the zombie perspective. This movie managed that to a degree. It wasn’t simply about running away from zombies and running toward some safe zone.
The story moved along. That’s good. It even moved along with some purpose.
It also moved along with little regard to rationality and with the exposition required to keep a toddler informed of what is going down.
There are flaws, oh Zeke, there are flaws. Moments that left me yelling at the screen in exasperation. A fast flowing litany of why’s and wtf’s. Maybe I should just read the book.
What follows is a non-comprehensive list of my bafflements (which I’m sure, some Internet Badass has all the answers to. Don’t believe him, he’s full of it). I won’t linger on these issues, but I have deep thoughts which you should avoid if you don’t want to know any of the nitty gritty:
- Yet another movie where the protagonists escape a jammed up city in a vehicle with a perfectly clear route out.
- Have none of these people heard of a quarantine? There is no reason to take any chances. Double plus failsafe measures!
- There is a rambling bout of philosophical verbal diarrhea by a character with no other purpose in the movie but to give Gerry a clue (and by extension, the viewers, who apparently must be spoon fed that clue throughout the film). Mother Nature is not a serial killer, bub, Mother Nature is a miraculous balance of working elements in a great big whole.
- Why does Gerry’s wife try to call him while he’s in a damn combat zone full of zombies? Why, Mrs. Gerry, WHY?
- There is the Giant Wall of Zeke-ants Scene. This would have been cool had I not seen it 1,000 times on the television previews. Since I had, I knew it was coming and spent a chunk of the movie waiting for it once the wall came on-screen. It made the reasoning behind the wall attack glaringly obvious.
- There were zombies on a plane. I have had enough of these motherfucking zombies on this motherfucking plane! Yes, it was that silly. I don’t think they meant it to be.
- Why did the sound-attracted zombies ignore a plane blowing up?
- Why does the final solution pretend to make any sense? The zombies have zero survival instinct. They are ravening, twitching, careening dumbasses. Why would they care, or not care, about the infirm? They can’t catch your herpes anyway. Does a limp have a scent? How quickly can they smell cancer anyway?
Why do I care about any of this?
I suppose I don’t. The final tally still nets us a decent movie. I enjoyed it. I would have enjoyed the alternate ending even more. It seemed like an entirely different movie. More bleak and less ridiculous. The cold gets to everyone after all, even the undead and Nazis (of course, not undead Nazis, but that’s another story). I can get on board with that.
This guy on the youtubes sums up the other ending so that I don’t have to, just ignore the part at the end where he claims to like the theatrical version better. Because he’s wrong.
- A Zombie Apocalypse and a Headless Horseman (emijo95.wordpress.com)
- World War Z (Movie Review) (pauhopsthroughdimensions.wordpress.com)
- Weekend Horror: World War Z (descentintoslushland.wordpress.com)