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World War Z

World War Z: A More Serious Take on Zombies

  • Brad PittJames Badge Dale...
  • Action & AdventureDrama...
  • Marc Forster
reviewed by
Marija Loncarevic
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World War Z: A More Serious Take on Zombies

Marc Forster’s World War Z is definitely not your everyday zombie-apocalypse-disaster film. From the same director that brought us Monster’s Ball and Finding Neverland, World War Z’s approach to an already saturated genre boasts a surprising touch of humanity; in an otherwise showy display of the undead, it’s the only thing that holds the entire picture together.

Former U.N Investigator, Gerry Lane (Pitt), has given up his working days and settled into life with his loving wife, Karen (Enos), and his two young daughters, Constance (Jerins) and Rachel (Hargrove).

However, their seemingly idyllic lives are soon disrupted when a reported rabies outbreak hits Philadelphia and is turning ordinary people into evil and disturbingly fast-moving killing monsters. Gaining help from mentor and close family friend, Thierry Umotoni (Mokoena) – the UN Secretary of State – Gerry and his family manage to escape and find refuge onboard a Navy aircraft carrier. 

Soon, major cities around the globe begin to fall under the infestation and UN officials have no choice but to enlist Gerry, known for his skills and expertise in emergencies, to escort a high-level scientist on a task of finding the cure.  Gerry is initially resistant to leave his family behind, but is forced to accept when an ultimatum threatens to remove his family from the safety of the ship.

Loosely based on the Max Brooks’ novel of the same name, World War Z is an assortment of highly entertaining and sometimes confusing moments; usually with a highly serious tone, it zigzags its way through the story, making it hard to keep up with at times.

However, the director and screenwriters do manage to capture the dreariness and eeriness of a world under attack is quite spectacularly. The zombie sequences – although pretty low on the gore-o-meter – deliver some impressive and highly tense situations, and even though the ‘tsunami’ of swarming bodies – marketed heavily in the pre-release material – is a little too CGI-heavy, it still makes for some engaging scenes.

World War Z definitely takes its time to develop and the first half of the film might discourage viewers at first, but the second half of the story is where the pace picks up immensely and Forster’s magnificent direction hits the bull’s-eye.

Brad Pitt still remains a divisive actor in Hollywood, but he manages to offer depth and compassion to his role, making his character extremely endearing. Enos, Mokoena, Morse and Kertesz and the rest of the supporting cast, meanwhile, contribute to the emotion of the turmoil of the situation despite limited screen time.

World War Z has been long anticipated and although the story has its flaws, the shortcomings are never too great to pull down the curtain on the bigger message: humanity and courage is the only key to survival.

Like This? Try

28 Days Later (2002), 28 Weeks Later (2007), Dawn of the Dead (1978)

360 Tip

World War Z is part of a trilogy in the making and according to the director and the producers, the trilogy is a mix between the Bourne franchise and AMC's The Walking Dead.

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