It is here. After the many production problems and delays, Paramount Pictures’ very risky film World War Z has finally been released! The question is, was it worth the wait? Yes and no.
Don’t get me wrong, I love a good zombie movie. I absolutely love 28 Days Later. Hell, I even love the completely awful ones that you just love for no reason. *Cough Cough* Automaton Transfusion *Cough Cough*. Including the completely god awful ones that you just watch to numb your mind. I’m looking at you House of the Dead, I’m looking at you really, really hard. Sometimes a movie zombie movie, or really any genre of movie, will come along and just make you think to yourself for a while if you really enjoyed it. World War Z is that movie for me.
Based on Max Brooks’ best-selling novel “World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War,” World War Z stars Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, James Badge Dale, Julia Levy-Boekn, Bryan Cranston, Danielle Kertesz, and Matthew Fox. Well, if you can really call Fox’s role deserving of a credit now. That is something of which I will get into later in this review, but for now the story is as follows. United Nations employee Gerry Lane, who is played by Brad Pitt (Killing Them Softly, Moneyball), traverses the world in a race against time to stop a pandemic that is toppling armies and governments and threatening to decimate humanity itself.
I’m going to tell you right now. I am not even going to mention the book after this paragraph as it would be pointless. Like really. This movie has, barely, any connection with the book as why waste my breath on it. I will simply say this in regards to the film vs. book discussion…. When seeing this movie, please take the book out of mind. Literally the only thing they have in common is the title as it seems now. As depressing as that sounds, it is true. Now that doesn’t mean the movie was too bad, but having the book as an essential part of the script writing process would have helped this movie a lot.
Back to this review… This will be as spoiler-free as possible.
World War Z is certainly a film that became its own disaster film behind the scenes more so than the pandemic happening on film. After its initial showing Paramount felt the film need to change its ending along with certain scenes to make a more PG-13 safety type film. It needed to reach an audience of just about everyone at this point running over budget. Damon Lindelof (Lost, Star Trek Into Darkness) is a name I have grown to not enjoy seeing at the beginning credits of any sort of project. Lindelof was tapped by Paramount to come in after the film was pushed from a December 2012 release to June 2013 to rewrite the third act of the film. He was unable to finish the act and Drew Goddard (The Cabin in the Woods, Cloverfield) was brought in to finally finish the drafts. Then, at one point, $125 million dollar budget rose to heights of $200 million in budget to finish after plenty of reshoots, warehouse raids, rewrites, and director/actor troubles.
The set pieces in this film are wonderful. The film takes you on a ride that feels like the “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?” of zombie films to find patient zero to get the cure for this disease before it gets out of control. Which isn’t all bad? The book, I know I said I wouldn’t mention it again, tells its story from multiple points of view from survivors of the war, while the film, in a sense, is collecting the stories of others to find the patient zero and make a cure. That was a small plus.
Brad Pitt is enjoyable enough to watch him scour the globe in hunt for this cure which makes the movie that more bearable and fun. Honestly it’s a summer movie; I’m not expecting a whole lot going into the film. I was on auto pilot as soon as I made the decision to leave my apartment to watch this film.
The first and second acts are extremely enjoyable. I was given the same feeling that I get from horror films, most notably for myself is the remake of Dawn of the Dead, that just causes me to become more interested in just how the main character will escape out of the city or get to where they need to go. Let me tell you, World War Z wastes no time getting into the nitty-gritty of the destruction and feeling of everything is coming to an end. When a movie wants me to feel the sense of end-of-the-world and no hope I tend to enjoy it a little more because it is doing its job and doing it well.
The ending but I will get into that…. I really just wanted to mention it.
That stupid noise that directors let children do from their mouths when things around happening around them. Along with the overly cheesy lines that accompany such happens like, “I want my blanky!” Even the classic high pitch scream that makes you want to punch the person next to you out of anger.
A lot of times the insanely stupid things that people do in the film. I am only going to mention one event. The doctor, who is passed off as this smart hope for the human race is killed no more than 15 minutes or less after he is introduced. Honestly in the dumbest way possible. Kid runs up the metal ramp of an airplane to escape the zombies, only to slip and shoot himself in the face… Seriously. I am not making this up. I was so just… I don’t even.
The shear sporadic storyline of the film. The film just didn’t seem like it was all there. I know that is more than likely because of the reshoots to make it much “nicer” for the people who don’t like Horror and make this much more of a huge summer Action movie with Horror elements. Seriously the people I was in the theater with were jumping at the small noise of a bicycle. Really guys? I say guys because of all the people there, mainly guys were screaming while the girls were brushing it off like nothing ever happen only to be frightened at the actual “scary parts” as their boyfriends held on to them for dear life after screaming from a small piece of debris. To that I say, well done ladies…Call me… Anyways, let’s continue…
To me, the ugliest thing about this movie is its ending. The ending is an absolute crime after the build up from the entire movie. Such a dark and atmospheric beginning and middle and the all lead to a sappy conclusion that just doesn’t fit. I would like for all of you reading this far to tab up a site that talks about the original ending and, if you have seen the movie, decide which one you would have loved to see. When you learn of the original ending it will make you say to yourself, “Where was that movie? That is the movie I was paying to see!” I won’t talk much about it but I will say that it involves the Russians in a completely, and more true to the original trailers of the film, story than what we are shown on screens today. I wanted more and I received less, a lot less. So much wasted potential. What a shame.
To me, World War Z was like what would happen if Universal Pictures could view into the future, more specifically 2007, and watch I Am Legend. Universal would then travel back to 2004 and tell Zack Snyder that for his directorial debut film, the excellent remake of Dawn of the Dead, to be released, it needed to be more like Legend. That is exactly what World War Z is. I left the theater unsure if I even liked the film and after writing this I finally have a clear understanding.
I do. I like the film even through all of its faults. I would even consider adding it to my collection if they release the original ending and or deleted scenes. I would even say if you have an extra couple of dollars to spare, go see it. You may have fun. You may not. Honestly if you enjoyed I Am Legend then you will enjoy I Am Legend 2.0 I mean World War Z.
I think I will give World War Z 7 Brangelina adopted African children out of 10.