Hello once again my friends, and welcome to another entry into the Robbie K review library. Today we tackle the latest Brad Pitt movie World War Z, an action movie that seemed to hold promise for some scares and good fun for the summer. Yet, as we all know, the trailers can sometimes promise too much and leave many disappointed and often wanting more. So is World War Z the action packed, zombie slaying adventure it promised, or is it just another film to show off Pitt’s good looks to the crowd. Read on to find out.
As promised in the trailer, World War Z stats the zombie onslaught rather quickly. A chase scene occurs within minutes, and begins to bring most audience members to the edge of their seats, as they watch Pitt and family maneuver their way through a chaotic Pennsylvania street. Amid the chaotic camera work and computer generated victims, is a rather loud, scream filled, sequence that has been done time and time again. Sound action packed? Well my friends Pitt gets his exercise in this movie, as the stud most women want spends a large chunk of the movie fleeing from the heavily made up/computer monsters that plague the world. Whether it is the streets of an American city, or down the alleyways of the holiest place on earth, the screen shows various shots of the running of the zombies with some glimpses of people dying as well. To our luck though, there do happen to be some more intense show downs that pit man’s semi-automatic arsenal against the super speed of the undead monsters that seems to be the trend these days. The action fan in me was pleased when gunplay was introduced into the mix, which not only served as a break from the mundane chases, but was well integrated into the scenes as well. Instead of seeing the guns spit out an endless assault of bullet, the team showed the limitations of guns in the situations, where accuracy, not brute force counted. Thus, the audience gets more of the survival suspense that made horror movies in the past. Speaking of suspense, Marc Forster and his crew made another smart move to keep the audience on the edge of their seats. Parts of the movie broke away from the high intense action and mixed in some slow pace, stealth driven, attempts to avoid the creatures. Although you know what is coming, I’ll admit there were parts that had me a little on edge as I wondered the fate of the supporting characters.
Speaking of character, WWZ really doesn’t have that much of a cast to root for in the movie. Unlike the SyFy channel films, this movie doesn’t involve a group of 8 or 9 obvious victims and throw them into the setting to be chowed down. Instead the movie focuses on Brad Pitt as Gerry Lane, giving most of the dialog, brains, and surprisingly skills to an investigative reporter. You heard me right a reporter. While I enjoy a break from the heroic one-two man armies, I was expecting the main character to have a little more background than revealing scandals of organizations and countries. Despite that though, Gerry was a realistic character who wasn’t some super genius/ elite warrior that had some ridiculous weakness or lame motive. He was a man who cared about his family, and used his field experience and information to stay ahead of the game. Regardless of the character, I was still hoping that others had some more screen time/ interaction with the movie. Most of the supporting cast is just that supporting, providing a few clues or sage advice to help clear the fog of the enigma of whatever is causing the zombification process. Eventually he gets an ally named Segen (Daniella Kertesz) who manages to survive past the five minute mark to bring some brawn to the film, but even she doesn’t say much. Luckily, words weren’t really needed for her part, or most of the parts for that matter, to support Brad’s one man act, and still deliver some well-timed punches.
The wrap up my ranting, let’s talk about a few other aspects of world war z. For horror fans who don’t like much of plot and only go for the fun of getting scared out of your mind, well you might like this movie just as much. Although there is a little more story telling involved, WWZ doesn’t pursue some of the plot elements that it first pursues. The sudden drop of the primary goal was a little shocking, and left me wondering what the point of the mission was. What the goal became was like putting duct tape on the problem, which may be addressed in a sequel if the movie does well enough. A second thing is how did the zombies get so smart? At times in the movie, the deranged bodies manage to coordinate attacks, sense impending danger, and surprisingly react to sounds that bring them out of their mindless moaning and teeth clicking. Yes it added more deadliness to the creatures, but again pursue the matter, explain what allowed them to be like this. As for scariness, a few jump scenes might get some people, but the combination of camera work, action integration, and humorous moaning/teeth clicking takes away from the scariness of the zombies. While it might not scare the wits out of adult audience members, younger generations might get some nightmares from this movie, so exercise caution before you go out for a family movie night. Finally for those looking for clever dialog, don’t get your hopes up as military jargon, medical terms, and a few noble rants are all this movie has to offer.
World War Z is a nice blend of action and horror, but it still lacks some punch and finish that could have made it great. Brad Pitt fans will get their fill of the female eye candy, but those looking for more character interaction and depth should skip this film. Those looking for some high intensity scaring, replay a classic horror film. Want a good zombie outbreak plot? This film has about half of it, but I think the book will give you a little more completeness to satisfy your needs. Finally, those going for a lot of action will again need to pick a new film, because although well done and fitting the survival horror genre, it still lacks a lot of excitement. My suggestion is to wait for this movie on Netflix, and pick another movie to see in theaters. My scores for this film are:
Movie Overall: 6.5