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'World War Z' Movie Review

Big Blockbusters often hit their target with numbers, but how about the ride? Was it good for you?

World War Z (2013)

World War Z (2013)

What’s It About?

Gerry is a former UN employee being the best stay-at-home dad he can possibly be. Suddenly the world is in the middle of an outbreak of fast-moving zombies that turn you into one of them in just 12 seconds.

He has a wife and two daughters and all he wants is to secure their safety. Gerry agrees to help find the origin of the virus that is causing the outbreak and in return, his family has a refuge in a large military vessel safe out at sea.

Will Gerry find the origin of the virus in time before the world is overrun by zombies?

Quick Film Info

Title: World War Z

Director: Marc Foster

Screenplay and Writers:
- Matt Carnahan
- Drew Goddard
- Damon Lindelof

Date of Release: Premiered in London in 2013

Genre: Action - Horror

Box Office: $190 million

Box Office: $540 million on the big screen

Who's in It Worth Mentioning?

Brad Pitt (who plays the protagonist Gerry) has been in a lot of different types of movies, but this is his first zombie flick. Having such a big star calling the shots (because his company Plan B produced it) is bound to garner some well-known actors. The following were worth a shout out:

  • Matthew Fox is more famous for his TV accreditations than his movie roles. He's been in Lost (2004), Saturday Night Live (2006), Haunted (2002), and Party of Five (1994) to name some of his more well-known ones.
  • Ruth Negga (plays a doctor) is gaining popularity after her attitude-filled muscle role in the TV Series Preacher (2016.)
  • Sterling Jennings (who plays Constance) was a favourite of mine in The Conjuring (2013.)

The Writers

This movie had so many groups of people involved in it, they can actually be broken up into three groups. This is often a bad sign and for this movie, did undermine some of the meat of the movie.

  1. The screenplay writers: Matt Carnahan, Drew Goddard and Damon Lindelof.
  2. The story writers: Matt Carnahan, J. Michael Straczynski and Michael S. fought about the writing process with the director Marc Forster. Forster wanted to focus on the action and Straczynski wanted to do more with the book. The book focuses more on the characters and the reaction to the apocalypse so it looks as though Forster may have had his way. Straczynski was fired and replaced by Matthew Carnahan, who agreed with taking it more along an action route. Personally, I wish it had been the other way around. Had they reached a middle ground, this movie wouldn't have so much criticism for its lack of depth.
  3. The original novelist: Max Brooks collaborated as well. The book has little in common with this film apart from the central storyline.
The opening sequence is awesome.

The opening sequence is awesome.

My Thoughts on the Film

I love a good zombie movie and when this movie came out, was really excited. 28 Days Later (2002) and its sequel or the 2004 remake of Dawn of the Dead had all rated pretty highly for me.

How a zombie acts and what they can do can change the narrative entirely These were super-fast and the infection takes hold in under a minute which made for some exciting running scenes and tension-filled scenes.

I cannot wait for the next installment which releases in 2019. This time the direction is solely by David Fincher with Max Brooks writing the screenplay. Due to this, the sequel could follow the books more closely and with Fincher's direction, it could be the movie the fans of the books will appreciate more than the original.

This movie is one of those that is so exciting when you begin to watch it that you wonder when to pee (if at all.) Even pressing the pause button feels like a betrayal of the action.

I had flashbacks of my all-time favourite TV show The Walking Dead during the opening scenes of the outbreak with the overhead areal view of zombie swarms, however, found it hard to believe that the massive RV had remained empty in this sea of chaos amidst a mass of people packed into a busy Philadelphia street. Everybody was trying to get to safety and Pitt managed to secure this vehicle from a good distance away. That was my first frowny-face moment. The scene is epic though, so I did forgive this tiny oversight.

I also took issue with Gerry's wife Karin having a bunch of flares. Not just a few, a whole bunch. Her daughter's inhaler is forgotten along with her handbag, but somehow she has a bunch of flares that come in handy later on. When they run into an apartment complex to take cover and it's a bit dark, Karin starts popping off flares like she has a never-ending supply. They're supposedly for showing the rescue helicopter where they are but sure, lighting the way is very important too. Lucky there was plenty left to fire off for the rescuers to pinpoint their location anyway.

Later in the movie, I hated a certain cell phone scene. I don't do spoilers, so I'm not going to elaborate, but, sometimes writers need to stop acting like people who are really, really smart for 99% of a movie somehow turn into imbeciles at times when their brain is up for grabs by hungry zombies.

Did I love this movie? Without a doubt, I've seen it 3 times. It's fantastic and Japan has even used some famous special effects for the movie I Am A Hero to create a pretty cool movie. I disagree with some critics that the CGI effects were low scale, I thought they were pretty darn cool.

I loved the detail of the processes for scientists when they're looking for cures, which were wound into the story in Jerusalem.

I guarantee you will love this if you like action and zombies and lots of things exploding.

I will say one more thing though: if you do need to pee, make sure you pick a scene after the first half hour because you really shouldn't ruin the momentum until then.

I give World War Z, 3 disease sensing zombies out of 5.


© 2017 Movie Whisperer


Movie Whisperer (author) from Moreton Bay, Queensland on October 06, 2017:

Fast moving zombies are all the rage now-days. They had heaps of trouble with production on this one and it ended up disjointed - still a good watch though.

Ryan from Louisiana, USA on August 15, 2017:

It was crazy how fast these zombies moved in the film. This movie was decent, but when it first came out I was expecting a bit more. I heard David Fincher could be directing the next one which makes me a lot more pumped for the sequel. Great review.