Written by J. Weagle
The Fisher Price of zombie movies.
Leave it to Hollywood to try their hardest in to bank on the current trend, which just so happens to be the undead. I gotta start of by saying that it would be unfair of me to judge this movie for not being faithful to its source material because the truth is I haven’t read any of the books in the World War Z lore. I do however know what the focus of the books are, and have been told about some moments from them that seem like they could be turned into pretty cool cinematic moments, and I also know that this film uses none of them.
World War Z may just be the most marketable film every created, and it’s for this reason that it feels hollow on the inside. I mean for starters, let’s take one of the biggest movies stars in the world (every man Brad Pitt), add some zombies (after all they are hot right now) and lastly sprinkle in some explosions and some lame family plot. Probably the biggest issue with this film is that it has no story-line. Instead we just follow Brad Pitt from set piece to set piece as he tries his hardest to survive in a zombie apocalypse. In fact this movie doesn’t even try to hide the fact that it has nothing new to say. Literally in the first fifteen minutes of the film, Brad Pitt cooks his children some breakfast, witnesses a cannibalistic act, steals an RV, and shoots a man to defend his family. There is such little build up to anything that the film almost becomes a collage of random acts compiled on top of each other to make one mess of a movie. The films production troubles have been no secret, and either has the fact that it has received multiple rewrites.
The second major flaw with World War Z is the zombies themselves. A mean after all for a zombie film the one main thing that can help boost your movie is the zombies, that’s why is so surprising just how badly they messed up here. They look like normal people with hazed eyes, and a skin complexion that rivals your neighborhood goth. I understand why they fucked up so bad, it was in order to keep the PG-13 rating. Sometimes during the more action oriented scenes it’s hard to even distinguish who is a zombie and who isn’t. The sounds that the so called zombies make is downright comical and completely makes them more of a joke than any sort of threat. As far as effects go it relies heavily on CGI, and that does make for some impressive shots in some cases, but other times it was a huge distraction that made everything look and feel too unnatural. It’s always a bad sign when the special effects (especially CGI) becomes a noticeable thing, and really takes you out of an already cold feeling movie.
Possibly the biggest flaw of all however, is Brad Pitt. I’m not about to bash Pitt’s acting ability, in fact I happen to think that Pitt is a really solid actor and obviously has done some incredible work. In fact his performance in this movie isn’t even bad, it’s just that having a triple A movie star in a zombie apocalypse film automatically takes the tension out of it. After all he’s Brad (fucking) Pitt, so right away we know that nothing is going to hurt him. We know that the studio isn’t going to mess up his face, or beat the living hell out of his character because well, he’s Brad (fucking) Pitt. We never really feel like he is in any sort of danger, and we never feel like we are with him on this journey or experiencing things with him, instead we feel like spectators.
All in all World War Z was not a film made for me, or for any die hard horror fan. It was made to get those that would normally never go see a zombie movie into the theater, and perhaps in that respect it is a good film as it did good numbers at the box office. For anyone who did enjoy this, I would recommend you check out 28 Days Later, as World War Z felt like a watered down stupefied version of that much greater film. This is a baby’s first step zombie apocalypse movie that adds nothing new to an already over crowded genre.