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World War Z

World War Z

Genders: Adventure, Sci-Fi, Thriller, Horror, Action

Director: Marc Forster

Writer: Matthew Michael Carnahan, Drew Goddard

Actors: Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, Daniella Kertesz, James Badge Dale

Year: 2013
Run time: 1h 56min
IMDB score: 7.1
Updated: 15 days ago

Movie infomation

Movie name: World War Z

Genders: Adventure, Sci-Fi, Thriller, Horror, Action

Imdb Score: 7.1

Runtime: 1h 56min

Released: 21 Jun 2013

Director: Marc Forster

Writer: Matthew Michael Carnahan, Drew Goddard

Actors: Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, Daniella Kertesz, James Badge Dale

Box Office: $202.4M

Company: Paramount Pictures

OfficialWebsite

Imdb Link

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Trailer


Review

Fast, scary and much better than expected!

8/10 I was dubious! The rating, the early reviews, my love of gory George Romero movies had all led me to deciding not to see this. But, my wife wanted to go... Well, two breathless hours later I turned to her, big grin on my face and had to state "That was awesome!" Yes, I can see why people don't like it. It is very different to the traditional zombie movie, and very different to the book. But you know what, who cares - it's not a traditional zombie movie, or the book - it's different. So suck it it up whiners and enjoy this for what it is! (And I'm a huge fan of all Max Brooks zombie books.) The movie begins with a short intro to the main character and his family (it was enough, it told me all I needed to know) before launching into a fantastic, break neck sequence that establishes the pace for most of the rest of the movie. It's violent, visceral and shocking without any reliance in gore. The tension is racked up (especially in the escape from the apartment block sequence) with a series of spectacular set pieces (the walls of Jerusalem scene is brilliant) and things get better and bigger until the film slows the pace for the final reel with a slow burning, smaller scale sequence set in a WHO research lab in the UK. It's an unusual choice to end a movie with the smallest set piece, but it worked well for me as it was in line with Gerry's quest and the (stated in the movie) fact that the answer is often so small it gets overlooked. The gravity of the decisions Gerry has to make here are greater than any previously in the movie (where mostly he just has to run like hell!) and it's that that makes this such a powerful set piece to end the movie. I learnt several things from this movie 1) to let go of my preconceptions about what a zombie film should be, 2) that a low rating doesn't mean its for kids - I have two sons and despite the lack of gore I certainly wouldn't let then see this. Its very intense and that (not the gore) is what would scare them. 3) to go with the flow - I did here and was swept along for a rapid fire 2 hour thrill ride that was a hell of a lot of fun. I for one will be getting this on blu ray and I'll be first in line for any sequel. But I will admit, an undated version would be very welcome!

one year ago

This is not a movie, it is a special demo with no plot

1/10 The special effects were impressive, I will give you that. However, the rest wasn't. The 2 hour experience felt like watching titanic sink, in real time. Here is a list of the things that went wrong:

1. PG13 rating: The director and producers wanted to make this movie family friendly, so they took away all the gore, death and decay that makes the zombie genre what it is. This made the zombies totally not scary and even on occasions towards the end, just plain laughable.

2. Senseless plot: The UN sends a small team to investigate the beginning of the outbreak. They have a neurologist on the team, who incidentally cant stop using cheesy metaphors about mother nature. Why can't they send multiple teams, with more than one expert on each? After all it is clearly a high risk mission, casualties must be expected. After the neurologist dies right after his pretentious speech, it is clear that the whole thing was an excuse to put Brad Pitt in a dangerous situation so that we will feel tension. We still didn't because, see 3.

3. Bad character development: None of the characters in the movie had any depth. As a result we didn't care if they lived or died. Pitt's family was just the detestable suburban family, who apparently does nothing but turn money into feces. Their marriage and children felt so plastic and ready-made that I personally would not have felt a thing if Pitt was torn apart by zombies in front of his family. Well, actually that might have improved this movie, alas it couldn't have happened because of 1.

4. The ending sequence: Just as we think that the plot cannot get worse and we make peace with the idea of enjoying the special effects, the movie takes another down turn in the last 40 minutes or so. The special effects disappear and we find Pitt and his sidekick in a W.H.O. research facility playing hide and seek with zombies. There is no suspense because the ending is announced basically in the first 5 minutes of this sequence, Pitt will go into the zombie infested part of the building, get some disease samples and bring them back. They will use one of the samples to infect themselves and see if zombies will lose their appetite. They do, and we win, with another pretentious speech about how it is not the end but just the beginning. Yawn.

5. Plot holes:

a) Zombies can diagnose a terminal illness just by looking at someone and for some reason, they avoid that person. This doesn't make any sense at any level. First, even a doctor with years of medical training can't do that without extensive testing. How can a mindless zombie, who cant figure out how to unbuckle her seat belt, do it just after a glance by the corner of her eye? Second, why the hell would zombies avoid a sick person? There is no reason. After all, the virus, or whatever that is causing the outbreak is not harmed by any other disease. The W.H.O. scientists said so themselves.

b) The W.H.O. facility is in Wales, Britain. Among the weapons they have in their arsenal is a baseball bat. Does the director even know where Wales is? Does anyone, one soul in Wales, own a baseball bat? Was that so difficult to make it a cricket bat? Come on now, I think that the director is a bit of a thickie but I can't believe that no one who looked at this movie pre-release had seen Shaun of the Dead. And to add insult to injury, the soldier girl with one hand picks the baseball bat. This scene alone is enough to prove that the director of the movie is blind from birth, because anyone who had at least one functioning eye at any point in his life and used it to glance at a baseball bat would have immediately realized that it is a two-handed weapon. How could a special forces soldier could not recognize it as such and not pick the crowbar?

c) The cellphone battery: In one scene, the cellphone's battery is declared dead. In a later scene, it is working again. Really?

d) When they decide to recover the disease samples, they give Pitt no briefing about which containers contain what. But apparently, at least one container is full of deadly stuff, which would kill him immediately. Why? Why? OMG, why? The security cameras show the room clearly. All they need to do is to seat Pitt and the soldier girl in front of one of the displays and show them where the goodies are before sending them in.

e) Pitt has no special combat, first aid or survival training. He apparently learned all that stuff on the field, and he is not a scientist either. Finally, he doesn't have experience as a commanding officer. So, why would he, instead of literally thousands of military people who were purpose-trained for such a mission, is chosen to lead the mission? It doesn't make any sense. It would have made a lot of sense if his UN friend said something like "Look, I convinced these people that you are the best man to lead this mission though we both know that you aren't. You are just a guy who spent ten years handing out blankets to African countries. But I had to do it to save your family, alright? They would have never let you on the ship otherwise and you would have died in Philly." That would have not only sealed this plot hole, but also would have given Pitt's character a tragic and desperate quality, which would have helped us care about him. But the mindless zombies who made this movie missed this chance too.

one year ago

Light, family friendly and internationally marketable.

5/10 Oh, Hollywood. You saw the zombie apocalypse coming didn't you? Not a literal apocalypse of course, just 16 dozen different zombie books, graphic novels, games and TV shows taking over the world like the plague, and you just had to have your piece of the pie, didn't you?

World War Z is based on the 2006 novel by Max Brooks. The novel garnered some quite positive reviews, praised for its international and political scope. It also caught the eye of producer and star Brad Pitt, who after a long struggle with studios, directors, producers and other Hollywood zombies, managed to put together a half decent movie with director Marc Forster.

Half decent? Well, WWZ certainly isn't a bad movie. You've got the long-time Oscar-deserving Pitt playing Gerry Lane, a likable, good-looking family man who retired as a UN investigator to spend more time around his wife and daughters. This is all about to change obviously, because after the now seemingly mandatory news-footage-montage introduction, Gerry is called back by the UN in exchange for his family's safety on their big boat.

It sounds good enough, but the problem is that WWZ's political/international context is nowhere to be found so we're left pretty much to 28 Days Later with blockbuster pretentiousness. Sure, Gerry travels around the world and makes a few long distance phone calls, but there's never anything remotely compelling enough to warrant his travels and whenever the plot does manage to come close to something it quickly sets it aside in the interest of keeping this summer blockbuster light, family friendly and internationally marketable.

After Quantum of Solace there was much uncertainty about Forster's ability to direct action and after WWZ, guess what? There still is. Granted, it's never boring, but when the other elements that should've made the film aren't there it should be more than "never boring". Paramount's marketing certainly didn't help; if you've seen the trailers then you've seen the whole plot and LITERALLY every single action set piece, in chronological order too. You know when you see a trailer and think "they put all the good parts in"? Well, this time they put the whole movie in. The more hardcore genre fans might also want to look elsewhere if they're seeking gory zombie kills; there isn't much of that either as its PG-13 rating might suggest.

Brad Pitt is really the film's only strength. Much like Tom Cruise, Brad's got enough talent to singlehandedly pull you through a not-so-great movie without you hating him for it. And at almost age 50 you can't really blame him for wanting to star in his own big blockbuster franchise for the first time in his career when he could've played any superhero he wanted years ago. "Franchise" of course, if permitted by the audience, because this is one movie that desperately wants to have sequels.

one year ago

A Very Puzzling Missed Opportunity

5/10 The story of how World War Z was made is a lot more harrowing and suspenseful than the film itself. After going way over-budget and enduing a complete revision and reshoot of the final act, WWZ wasn't exactly set up for success. Ultimately the movie is completely forgettable and uneven, but not offensively bad or objectively terrible in any sense. What struck me about it was how much of a wasted opportunity it was, given how interesting and entertaining the source material is.

Having read the book World War Z, I could tell from the trailers for this movie that it wouldn't exactly be a faithful adaptation. I thought that the most interesting aspects of the book were its exploration of how the Zombie plague affected social and political structures across the world. Anything like that is completely ignored in the film, but I can at least understand how the filmmakers thought that those aspects wouldn't work in a single feature length movie. What I can't understand is how the filmmakers seemingly ignored the book's most obviously cinematic content. The book features a lot of setpiece action scenes, and to be fair, many of these involve world cities falling to zombie infestation and the movie does do enough to cover this. However, the book's immense battle scenes - the meat of the titular Zombie War, such as the Battle of Yonkers, nuclear war between Pakistan and Iran, Chinese civil war and massive formation combat against zombies - are completely absent. I was very surprised that they did not cover these, especially the Yonkers scene, because they would obviously fit so well into a film and the script, even as it is now, could easily be tweaked to include or at least mention them. The action that did make it into this film is very unsatisfying and obscure thanks to the restrictions of the PG-13 rating, and the narrative around is not engaging enough to really get me invested in it.

I was also surprised at how cheap this movie looked. This film cost hundreds of millions of dollars to make, but it's hard to see where it all went on the screen. Swarms of zombies look very fake and nonthreatening, and in some cases individual zombies are computer animated, which gave me bad flashbacks to I Am Legend's awful CGI overload. Aside from the opening scenes in Philadelphia and the middle act in Jerusalem, there are no big outdoor sets. A South Korean airbase is portrayed as a series of dark rooms; too much of the movie takes place in an airline seat; there is a lot of sitting around inside of the aircraft carrier, etc. The sense of scale is very inconsistent, and this is accentuated in the bizarre final act, which was obviously the focus of the infamous reshoots as it feels like a completely separate movie. I consider myself a patient viewer, but this very long and dull scene started to bring me down after a while, and my less patient viewing audience eventually fell completely out of sync with the film and began to make fun of it at every opportunity - not really a fair criticism of the film, but it's a real issue when it can't hold an audience's attention. The final act does actually have an interesting idea at its heart, albeit one that completely doesn't connect with anything in the book, but I just didn't think it was a well executed concept. The very different style and tone of these scenes makes it feel like a completely different movie.

Again, while there was nothing all that terrible about WWZ, I didn't think it was anything to get excited about. In other words, a perfect 5/10 movie. I wish they were more aware of the source material's potential because without the best and most cinematic aspects of the book, WWZ (the film)and WWZ (the book) only share a title and the central premise of a zombie plague, which is not an original idea in itself.

one year ago

5/10. Sorry folks, It's pretty pants. And I REALLY wanted it to be good.

1/10 SPOILER ALERT. SPOILER ALERT! You have been warned.

The Premiere -

I was at the London World Premiere last week, and Interestingly there was clearly tension between Mark (Director) and Brad Pitt. I would have thought a director of this size movie would be able to make a speech. But no. Reading from cards he fumbled over his words, got his actors names seriously wrong in front of 1000 people and was clearly very very nervous. Which is odd because any director should be excited or proud to be presenting their work to the world!

Brad Pitt in interview said they chose Mark as he was really good at the little emotional moments between characters. Well they mush have cut those bits out.

The movie -

A zombie film with no blood? I've no idea what the zombies were doing as we never see them kill anyone! They just run around a lot, far too fast for a 'human being'. No decapitated zombies, and a incredibly poor script that could have been knocked together in an evening.

Speaking to actors who worked on the film they told me a lot of the dialogue was improvised. And it shows. Good dialogue is written. It is very hard for an actor to come up with great dialogue on set with crew around, lights, explosions, gun fire and a budget and schedule pressing down on you - that is what rehearsals and, dare I say, a screenwriter are for.

I just don't think Mark Forster (Quantum of Bollox) knows how to direct. No emotional connection to any of the characters. No big climax at the end and the least threatening Zombie in the history of movies. Click click click.

A tedious V/O from Brad at the end, about "only just the beginning, of the war, YAWN..." We have heard this a hundred times.

There was some truly awful acting, characters that appear and go in a scene, that do nothing, and flimsy science that is just insulting to anyone who can actually think.

The only good bit was the Zombie as Ants scene, but it would have been hugely improved if a zombie with a giant leaf walked past in the background.

The audience laughed at several moment, that I don't believe the director even realised were gags!

Brad doesn't even really do any acting. He does a bit of running around and a fight or two. No great lines, and I don't really believe that he loves his kids and wife so terribly much.

Best thing in it was - Daniella Kertesz, but her scenes are clearly cut to bits, unlike her hand, which just seems to be fine after a couple of gin and tonics. I'll have what she's having!

And leaning suitcases against a curtain? Seriously. That was really bad.

The film could have been saved in the Edit - with some clever re-positioning of the major scenes, to get the structure right, but having seen Brad and Mark together, they had clearly fallen out of love with the movie.

Nothing here we haven't seen in 28 Days Later, or any other zombie film, or even The War of the World that was written 100 years ago.

At the end the applause was half hearted and everyone got up and left super fast.

The aftermath -

Please GOD can we stop giving bad directors a second, and in this case 10th chance. This film made me angry that a studio can waste so much money on what was a mediocre idea even at the beginning, and gave it to a director who has a proved track record of not being able to fix a bad script, or direct action.

The budget on this would keep an independent film maker in business for the next 400 years - or if we put that in a real time scale - all the way back to Elizabeth the 1st.

Frustrating.

Nothing to see here ladies and gentlemen, move on.

one year ago