Having cut my teeth on classic zombie films by Fulci and Romero, I had given up on zombies altogether a few years ago when the saturation of the genre had overstayed its welcome (thanks a lot, you filther hipsters). Taking that into account, not much of my attention was diverted towards the news about this whole World War Z thing. Nevertheless, I thought I’d go ahead and give it the old college try, because after all, how could it be worse than the last two movies I saw (Man of Steel and After Earth)?
The first quarter of the film was pretty fantastic. Between the effects on the opening cinematic and the way the initial zombie attack was handled, I was instantly engaged. Brad Pitt’s character was portrayed quite well, despite his insistence on having a 12-year-old boy’s haircut. The film at this point really had a feel all its own and dove starkly into things in a definitive way. Most of the time films will be either too quick or too slow. World War Z was rather graceful, and I thought that I was about to witness the birth of a classic.
Turns out I was wrong. After the honeymoon was over the movie left me for a floozy named Predictability, and aside from a few peaks here and there, never really got me back. Zombies, a virus, a clever cure that turns it all around. Horrible wounds that somehow don’t bother the heroes all that much. People doing stupid things because they couldn’t figure out how else to advance the plot. We’ve seen this how many times now? Yawn. I understand that Hollywood believes in catering to some sort of phantom demographic that only likes boring crap, but come on, people! Such a great start. It was right there in your hands.
I’m being hard on it because it really did drop the ball, but overall it could have been a lot worse. The money and effort spent on location and effects went a long way. I can see this perhaps developing into a decent trilogy if they keep the story going – and the ending does indeed suggest a sequel. While I can’t recommend forking out the $1,000,000 to see it in theaters, it’ll make for a nice movie night one day when you find yourself peering into a local rental box.
By Johnny Beaver