World War Z is a movie based on Max Brooks book by the same name and the similarities ends there. Having read halfway through the book, the movie is nothing like its book counterpart. For long World War Z was said to be in production hell having issues with directors and budget and naturally I was skeptical about it. Brad Pitt was announced to be the lead but it never came off as a consolation. Marc Forster as a director made it worse for me to accept it. No offence but Quantum Of Solace wasn’t a gem of a James Bond movie. I was genuinely concerned as I was a zombie genre fan first and foremost, and wanted it to work out well.
I was surprised when I read on IGN that World War Z was not a complete let down. Believe me I had not kept my hopes high for this one so a news like this did revive my hopes for the same.
World War Z starts off with Brad Pitt’s character Gerry Lane, a former UN personnel stuck in traffic with his family. And without a moment to spare, all hell breaks loose from there. Gerry and his family is put in the midst of the zombie outbreak and along with it, so are you. The first hour or so Gerry is hellbent on taking his family to safety and with his contacts at the UN he does accomplish it but in return he is sent to investigate the source of this zombie outbreak and he goes off on his mission moving from location to another in search of a possible cure.
We, as an audience, are just dropped into midst of the ruckus in like 10 minutes. There wasn’t much time for character development. Ofcourse horror movies never demand character development but this is not your usual horror flick where characters are used as cannon fodder. In, World War Z, the only character you end up caring about is Gerry and thats about it. Although he has his heart with his family tucked away far from the zombie outbreak, you just don’t feel the same. World War Z works out very much like a disaster movie. Think 2012, think The Day After Tomorrow. WWZ plays out exactly so, where instead of natural calamities you have a zombie apocalypse to deal with. It wasn’t the zombies thats of interest here, it was the setting which was direly grim. It reminded me a lot of Contagion. That being said this is not the movie for hardcore horror fans and for those who go in expecting to see brain-eating zombies or gore would be disappointed sorely. Its more drama than horror. Then again this aint a rehashed 28 Days Later. Where 28 Days Later had a solid storyline WWZ falters there a bit…the story of the movie could be encompassed in one paragraph but that owes to the fast pace that it’d got too. Tense moments were aplenty and yes the first as well as the second half of movie does put you at the edge of the your seats. I was never given a moment to breathe. I was either taking deep breaths or keeping my breath in at times of those tense moments. The 12 second zombie-bite-turnover time was what made it tense most of the times. There was this scene where Brad runs to the edge of a building, away from his family, having had zombie brain matter in his mouth and counting to 12 to see if he’d turn…it striked to me as ingenious writing. My problem was that it was all too fast. If you watch it individually and as snippets its quite gripping but the team globetrotting their way to find the source of the outbreak felt way too quick…WAAAY TOO QUICK! I know my statements could contradict here but this is exactly how I felt.
Brad Pitt was awesome as Gerry. The film was solely on Brad Pitt’s shoulders and he’s put in his best here. A bit of credit could be given to Mireille Enos, she didn’t have a lot to do here but she was convincing as Karin Lane. Apart from these two, the only cast members worth mentioning are Daniella Kertesz and Pierfrancesco Favino/Peter Capaldi duo each having the shortest of screentimes ever.
Qualms regarding the ending was inevitable. The finale felt very unsatisfactory. The right word would be ‘precipitous’. Everything that had it going for the movie was put to an abrupt end. PG 13 hampers the experience a bit. But not completely; all the slashing/hitting and the gore that followed, they were all implied and it makes for some effective scenes as well. the The second half didn’t come up to its first counterpart and had serious issues with the pacing, where the first half screamed urgency the second half was more akin to playing a stealth game, taking its sweet time to keeping you in strain.
World War Z is good movie but far from perfection. But of course you have to give in to the makers for coming up with something as entertaining as this despite going through the worst of production. It also has an intense score composed by Marco Beltrami. PS: Watch this movie in 2D.