Monday 1 July 2013

Dark Review - World War Z

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Image ©Paramount Pictures

World War Z Review 

By Casey Douglass

World War Z is the film based on the novel of the same name by Max Brooks. I read the novel sometime ago and found it very enjoyable. It made me think about some of the issues involved in a zombie outbreak that I had never before considered. I’ll admit that as a narrative, being made up of disjointed events and reports, the novel was a little dry. I can fully understand why the film was manipulated into a more traditional narrative, even if it meant leaving out some of the tastiest tales in the book.

Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) is a retired U.N employee who happens to have the skills that the U.N needs when the zombie outbreak reaches the worldwide consciousness. He and his family are plucked from the melting pot of teeth and screeching terror in the hope that he will aid the U.N in its hunt for the cause of the outbreak and ideally, the cure. Thus the film proceeds, flying from place to place just ahead of each location succumbing to the scourge. It struck me as a potential idea for the next Idiot Abroad TV series, although I would feel very sorry for Karl Pilkington if that ever got the go ahead.

I was unimpressed with the film, and I didn’t go there thinking that I wouldn’t like it. There were the usual moments of silliness that any film seems to suffer from these days but in the case of World War Z, I just couldn’t look past them this time.

Brad Pitt’s character seemed almost surplus to requirements. Any number of faceless U.N observers would have probably pieced together the clues as to the way the disease might be hampered, if not eradicated. As that is mainly what he did. He took the time to watch and observe the victims and the zombies, while everyone else panicked or fled. This helped him formulate a course of action which he swiftly keeps to himself. He calls his bosses on a satellite phone with a rapidly fading battery, and instead of telling them what he has observed and deduced, he asks if there is a research station nearby. Well thanks Brad, if you die before you get there no one will be any the wiser as to what you were going to do or try!

The zombies in the film are the controversial “fast moving” kind that sprint at you at full speed. I don’t mind those too much, as it does make the chase scenes that little bit more exciting. If I had to choose between two films though, I would usually choose the shambling zombies over the athlete kind. Maybe I am a traditionalist in that sense, but it just feels right to me.

I was unlucky enough to see the film in 3D. All I can say is DON’T BOTHER! Besides a few dark corridor sequences which gave a meagre impression of depth, the rest of the film was flatter than the pages of the book that bares its name. I am not a great fan of in your face 3D but to pay extra for what felt like minimal effect didn’t help my opinion of the film. To this day, the best uses of 3D that I have ever seen were the recent Resident Evil films, they are quite stunning.

The plot of the film was okay, and the ending seemed to be the right one for the film. The acting was fine, the CG passable, the music was the typical “save the world” kind of duh...duh-duh-duh-duh-duh beat. Maybe the book ruined me for the film, I just don’t know. All I do know is that I won’t be too bothered if I don’t ever see it again.

Rating : 2.5/5