Zombie Apocalypse Redux – A review of World War Z
Title: World War Z
Production Company: Paramount Pictures
Run Time: 116 minutes
Director: Marc Forster
Stars: Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, Daniella Kertesz
Summary: Did anyone else see the similarities here between this movie and Aliens (the James Cameron installment)? I had numerous feelings of déjà vu when I watched this tale of action/terror. Not a bad mix, by the way.
Brad Pitt is an actor who can handle virtually any type of role on the big screen, from drama to action to science fiction. That’s why it really is apropos for him to be cast in the leading role in this tale of the coming of a zombie epidemic that infects the whole of planet Earth.
Global infection by viruses can be a very real threat to modern day Earth which is one of the reasons movies like this can actually be scarier than you would think. Fear can become palpably more real when the potential danger can hit closer to home in real life.
Not that I think we’re destined for a zombie epidemic, but if we are, I’d like Gerry Lane (Pitt) by my side. He’s smart, thoughtful, loyal and innovative. He thinks fast on his feet. He’s even willing to sacrifice himself if he feels he’s been infected. That’s a rare trait indeed.
Living a retired life with his family, Gerry is thrust back into the fray when the zombie epidemic spreads to Philadelphia, where he’s currently living. Fleeing from the ravages of undead attacks, he and his wife and kids are airlifted out of New Jersey to floating refuges 200 miles offshore.
This is where the film suddenly starts drawing similarities with its precursory counterpart. Gerry and a small paramilitary team go out in search of a cure. It’s only natural that each place they will visit will be overrun by the bloodthirsty monsters.
Pitt bears the full responsibility for the integrity of the picture and he undertakes the burden well. We can buy him as an action star here and sympathize with his quest to save both himself and his family and the world as a whole from the ongoing devastation.
It’s intriguing that, with divine retribution on the horizon, the story will take us to the one bastion of hope for humanity in Jerusalem. But even the holy land isn’t truly safe from the onslaught.
The film flounders a bit when it comes to pacing. Almost from the get go, we’re thrust into action scene after action scene. At times, the story languishes a bit and becomes somewhat introspective on the cause of the ravaging devastation. But it isn’t long before the story finds its compass and gets back on track with utter devastation in its path.
This is what I like to refer to as a thinking man’s horror film, but if you stop to really think about it, there are a number of implausibilities that really make you shake your head and wonder, “Did he really just do that?” That’s what brings my overall opinion of this story down a notch or two. I give World War Z 3-1/2 out of 5 stars.