Friday, July 5, 2013

World War Z

So, I found myself in the theater watching World War Z. I didn't think I would, since my love for the zombie genre has dissipated with the the whole world falling for it. But, luckily, the movie reminded me why I loved the topic in the first place and was the surprise of the summer movie season.

The movie gets into the action quickly, there's no build up to be found, just a head first dive into zombie action as the streets fill with undead. We get a tense apartment scene as Brad Pitt and his family try to make it to the rooftop and then the film's main premise takes off.

The movie and the book of the same name only share two things; zombies and a global canvas. Pitt travel's to Korea to Israel to India, looking for clues on how the zombie plague started and how to stop it. While it lacks he full scope of the book, the sense that this is happening everywhere is a boon to the film, especially in a genre that's usually stuck to lower budgets and small locations. If this is the first zombie blockbuster, it starts the concept off right.

Pitt is fine in this movie, doing surprisingly well in a zombie movie. He's the only real name actor (unless you count an edited out Matthew Fox) and everyone else works just as well. What was most surprising for me was how well the movie shifts from genuinely creepy, tense moments to full-scale mass zombie scenes. The apartment scene in the beginning is a scary one for completely different reasons than the huge chase through Israel. The plane scene that you've seen in most trailers is terrifying, even if only conceptually. Zombies On a Plane? No, thank you.

I've read on the original ending (read here if you've seen the movie) and I'm glad they made the change they did. The final scene in the lab is a creepy one and a surprise for a big budget film. It's nice to watch a movie that knows when to blow stuff up and when to let the action simmer. I think the ending still allows for sequels, though I'm not sure how ready I am for one. Sometimes, one is enough.

I give the film a B+. It's not perfect, but it gets a lot of things right and has some great moments. The zombies crawling over each other like ants has been well advertised but seeing it in the film is unnerving. A good choice for zombie fans, natural disaster moviegoers and those that like to be creeped out.

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