Published on July 25th, 2013 | by Allan Brown2
World War Z Review
Movie Review: World War Z (2013)
Director: Marc Forster
Writers: Matthew Michael Carnahan (screenplay), Drew Goddard (screenplay), Max Brooks (novel)
Cast: Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, Daniella Kertesz
Plot: When a zombie plague ravages the globe, former United Nations worker Gerry Lane enters a race against time, sending him across the world in a bid to find the crippling pandemics origin.
World War Z is the film adaptation (of sorts) from Max Brooks’ best selling novel of the same name. The director at the helm of adapting the cult classic 2006 novel for the big screen is none other than Quantum of Solace veteran, Marc Forster.
The film centres round Gerry Lane, an ex United Nations worker who after being reluctantly reinstated in his former post, travels across the globe in a bid to stop a deadly pandemic that looks set to wipe out human civilisation.
The story behind the making of World War Z is of course more fascinating than the film itself. From the dreaded script re-writes, the production delays, the film losing all sense of shape and focus as it was passed from pillar to post, a reputation in the media as a bad joke, all satirical, real world geopolitics, military insight, history and personal experiences that made the book so REAL, harrowing and so fresh were trimmed away layer by layer till all we are left with is just another bland, half baked zombie film, the salvaged remains of a greater idea, a patchwork of scenes so crudely positioned, that they never quite flow coherently or even feel finished.
Despite the occasional whispering of what could have been an interesting idea and a couple of intense and gripping set pieces, there is not a lot here to marvel at apart from its plethora of failures. From the word go you will notice that scenes are never given any room to breathe and are fast tracked to make way for the next which is unfortunately a regurgitation of the last.
We watch as Gerry hops from one country to the next in search for the source of the outbreak. What is presented to us, the audience, is the same premise repeated again and again. Gerry arrives in South Korea, gets a little bit of information, Zombies break loose, infect everyone, he leaves. He arrives in Israel, gets a little bit of information, Zombies break loose, infect everyone, he leaves. Whilst aboard an airliner out of Tel Aviv he finds a little bit of information, Zombies break loose, infect everyone onboard and you guessed it, the plane crashes, and so on and so forth.
Everything that can go wrong does go wrong, and every single time, and Gerry’s immediate solutions like blow up an airplane in mid air or on the spot amputations, that come from nothing more than a gut feeling not only come from nowhere but are always proved right.
Things always feel rushed and no characters are given any time to develop or even breathe. Gerry’s family (Mireille Enos) are given almost nothing to do after the opening sequence and quickly disappear into the background for the remainder of the film, only given airtime to deliver throw away and often cringe worthy sentimental dialogue. Glimpses of other new characters are presented to the audience before disappearing, never to be seen again (Mathew Fox). I can only assume that this means the film has been hacked to death in the editing room under the strict instruction of an anxious studio, or a director who had truly lost sight of the project. As a result the movie feels delicate and presents certain flatness in its structure, like cracks that have been papered over and held together with superglue so that it may be sold to the public quick, before anyone notices that it’s broken. Whatever these reasons are, it is a shame as there is almost certainly a better film in there somewhere.
From poorly rendered CGI, a script that feels like it could have been knocked out in an hour and an army of one dimensional cardboard characters, World War Z offers absolutely nothing that we have not seen a thousand times before, and despite sharing the same name as Max Brooks’ novel, there is almost no similarity.
Summary: The film is too slow and character driven for it to appease the younger generation and too weak and watered down to appease the zombie fans, therefore it hangs somewhere in the middle. The film will no doubt do good business with a name like Brad Pitt attached but for all those that were holding out for an intelligent adaptation of the book, you will be sadly disappointed.