Distributed by: Paramount Pictures
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
You’re stuck at home nursing a nasty bugger of a sinus infection. You’re horribly nauseous from the medication the doctor has given you to fight said nasty sinus infection. But you have discovered that today is the day that you can actually look at a lit screen without wanting to tear your eyes out from the pain or just simply puke. So what do you do? Well, of course, you watch the goriest, bloodiest, most violent flesh-eating film you can find. And that’s what led me to World War Z.
All my zombie loving friends said I just had to see this film and, when it comes to zombie movies, television series and books, none of those zombie loving friends have ever been wrong. Still, I questioned the idea of Brad Pitt against the zombies. But, I was sick and in desperate need of some entertainment, so I figured what the hell.
World War Z begins with numerous news reports regarding a rabies-like virus that has been spreading. These pieces are mixed in with other local media and are not truly perceived by anyone to be anything incredibly important except for one American. Gerry Lane, former United Nations investigator, has been watching the news avidly regarding this outbreak, but, whenever his family asks, insists that he is much happier being at home with them than working for the UN.
While on a trip through the city of Philadelphia, Lane and his family discover just how worldwide this so-called rabies epidemic truly is. They are attacked by hundreds of zombies in the city and just barely escape with their lives. Lane receives a call from UN Deputy Secretary-General Thierry Umutoni who extracts the family from an overrun part of Newark, New Jersey. Rescued with barely time to spare, they are flown to an offshore US Navy carrier.
It is here that Lane learns he was brought aboard for one purpose – to aide in a scientific mission to a military installation in South Korea where the first warning of a “zombie” epidemic was transmitted from. Along for the ride is one of the world’s leading virologists (Elyes Gabel), considered man’s only hope to stop this epidemic. Unfortunately, having never been on a mission of such nature before, the young scientist accidentally kills himself during a zombie attack upon landing.
While he doesn’t have a huge part in this film, the virologist does have one of the most memorable dialogues in the film, offering hope to Gerry Lane before they land: “Mother Nature is a serial killer. No one’s better. More creative. Like all serial killers, she can’t help but the urge to want to get caught. But what good are all those brilliant crimes if no one takes the credit? So she leaves crumbs. Now the hard part, while you spent decades in school, is seeing the crumbs for the clues they are. Sometimes the thing you thought was the most brutal aspect of the virus, turns out to be the chink in its armor. And she loves disguising her weaknesses as strengths. She’s a bitch.” A shame he couldn’t live long enough to find any of those crumbs.
On his own in finding any sort of clue that can bring an end to the epidemic, Lane finds himself traveling halfway around the world, in search of hope. But, not being a scientist, how can he be sure just exactly what those clues are…and what they will mean for the rest of the world?
This is not your parents’ zombie movie, my friends. We all remember the older zombie films, half-decayed creatures that move ever so slowly searching for food. Except when attacking in hordes, it appeared fairly easy to evade these teeth-gnashing flesh eaters. Not so in World War Z. Once these zombies get excited – by noise, the smell of flesh, one of their own being killed – they attack and these bad boys…girls, kids, etc…are insanely fast. And they don’t just crawl after people or bang on doors. No, these zombies will do anything to get at you, even throwing themselves off of balconies and the like. After all, they’re dead – what’s a little 100 foot fall gonna hurt, so long as it doesn’t break their necks or skulls, right?
Brad Pitt puts in an excellent performance as a man who will do anything for his family, including joining a doomed mission in an effort to keep them safe. He is actually believable in this action hero/family man role. And he has great supporting actor assistance in the form of Mireille Enos as his wife; Daniella Kertesz as Segen, a tough as nails Israeli soldier who joins him in his quest; Fanna Mokoena as UN Deputy Secretary-General Umutono; and Peter Capaldi, Pierfrancesco Favino, Ruth Negga, and Moritz Bleibtreu as World Health Organization researchers.
From what I have seen of the book upon which the movie was based and what I have heard, World War Z does not exactly follow the book’s storyline, but somewhat adapts part of it. Who cares?! This movie is an amazingly action-packed suspense-fest that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end…which, by the way, doesn’t seem like an ending…more like a beginning.
Even if they leaves things as they are at the end of the film, I have to say that World War Z is right up there with all the favorite zombie films I have watched in the past. You know, the ones you can watch over and over again and never get bored with. That’s the kind of film World War Z is, a fun, gory zombie film that you just can’t get enough of and can be watched again and again without losing any of its flavor.
So, to close, I still feel sick and am still pretty darn nauseous – although I wasn’t made more so by the blood and guts of the film – but I was highly entertained by this film and would recommend it to all the lovers of the undead out there!