Movie Review: World War Z by Jason Burleson

World War Z Poster 2To me there is really nothing better than a good zombie movie. I’ve written all about my love for them in the past and they never really cease to get better and better for me.  They are by far my favorite scary movie genre.  Zombies’ unpredictability is what, in my opinion, makes them such a threat.  They tend to come in the form of mass destruction, or plague, destroying everything around them and anything people consider to be a staple to their daily living.  The most intriguing part, is watching how people deal with such an overwhelming force.  Some people give up and become part of the hoard themselves while a select few dare to be persevering and brave the oncoming force.  That’s what really makes me love zombie movies. It’s in knowing that even though it may seem incomprehensible to continue, the drive to keep living keeps us going.  In World War Z, we continue to examine just how far human will power and love for family keeps us pushing even when the end seems so close.

World War Z, the film, is based off of World War Z, the book. Personally, I have never read the book which was written by Max Brooks. Max just so happens to be the son of Mel Brooks, the well-known comedy writer and actor.  However, I am familiar with the fact that Max Brooks loves the idea behind zombie stories just as much as I do.  This is not his first or only zombie story.  World War Z, follows the story of Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt, Fight Club), a retired UN investigator, as he deals with a previously unknown pandemic which leaves its infected as mobile and resilient undead monsters.

WWZ In the beginning of the film, as people begin to become infected, Lane is a simple family man who uses his skills as a government trained official to obtain safety for his family.  Once his family is safe, it is requested by the government that he use his investigative prowess in order to track down patient zero in order to provide a cure for the overpowering disease.  He pursues leads, travelling to Korea and Israel to obtain information on the history of the disease.  The entire time, he is dealing with the oncoming undead and continuously fighting to get one step closer to ending the seemingly unrelenting war on zombies.

After watching this film, I would have to say that it is one of the best zombie films I have seen in a long time.  It’s not perfect, but most importantly, it gives the audience a nearly unimaginable look at the overwhelming force of zombies.  Most films that attempt this don’t really hit the nail on the head when explaining just how hard it is to kill something that’s already dead.  Another very important point I should make is that these are not your slow, casually malignant walking corpses from 90% of the zombie movies out there.  These are your fast, serial killing, extremely aggressive hoards of zombies. More reminiscent of I Am legend or 28 Days Later zombie figures than your Walking Dead zombies.  This makes the ordeal 100% more serious and sometimes overwhelming to the audience, leaving you gripping your arm rests and jumping every 20 seconds or so.  You’ll definitely get that puckered up feeling watching this film.

WWZVisually, Marc Forster, the director does an excellent job of explaining the pure mass of people that could be potentially infected in a zombie fueled apocalypse, however, to me the constant flow of zombies appeared more like a wave of water than an army of ants.  This may seem somewhat enigmatic. To me, a zombie horde should not be one single giant unit, but several thousand units fighting over a continuous goal. Due to this lack of detail, some of the zombie scenes lost me.  This doesn’t mean the film didn’t grab me like a good horror film.  I just think the movements could have been less blurred, and it would have force fed more intensity into the audience.  Let’s be honest, this is a true blue (or red I should say) action/horror film.  Rule #1: zombies are not kittens.  There are plenty of gruesome zombie shots to pacify the true zed enthusiasts, but not too much where you can’t take a weak-stomach date.  Be prepared for plenty of death and destruction just like a good apocalypse movie should have.

This film really surprised me with the story telling and gives tons of good zombie survival mantras.  Overcoming adversity and showing courage when forced into difficult situations is what really makes me love zombie movies.  If you want to watch a terrible movie with lots of gore, I’m sure you can rent Saw 17 from Red Box.  If you want to watch a visually stunning compellation of overwhelming zombie war, watch this film.

One last point should be made.  World War Z is not your word-for-word equivalent to the book by Max Brooks, but more or less uses the book as a guide to glue together the pieces of a zombie war.  This is just one piece of the puzzle to a solution. That is to say, if there is a solution.  11 seconds can be a long time…

I give World War Z 4 “twitching hands” out of 5.

by Jason Burleson

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