Ror Reviews: WORLD WAR Z 3D (SPOILERS)
I have yet to read Max Brooks' novel upon which this movie is based, but by all accounts it's a smart, original and thought provoking take on the Zombie genre. If that is the case fans of said book should be prepared to be disappointed, because Marc Forster's adaptation...isn't.
NOTE: I normally avoid spoilers, but in order to talk about why I felt the movie didn't work I do spoil a couple of things..nothing TOO major, but be warned
The story focuses on Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) and his family's struggle to survive the zombie apocalypse, as he is forced to leave them while he travels the globe in search of a cure. It begins well enough, and there's some early tension, but ultimately things get far too repetitive and it descends into a bit of a snooze-fest. This is, in part, due to the one-man-show that's forced down our throats. Yes, I get that Pitt is the hero but there ARE other people in the story they're telling, so shouldn't we get to know 'em a little? Nope!
Lane is accompanied by a team of course, and you might think we'll be learning more about guys so we'll care if and when they become zombie fodder, but no -- Pitt's character is pretty much the only player you are allowed to give a crap about..and even that's a stretch. For example, Iron Man 3's James Badge Dale pops up as a soldier. He's a familiar face, he sports and impressive beard, he's tough and cool and calls zombies "zeke"..that's enough to make people care when they kill him off right? Wrong. World War Z makes the same mistake so many movies of this type make; it expects the audience to relate and to give a shit simply because it tells us we're supposed to.
Another major problem is the family friendly rating. Obviously I realize not all horror movies need blood 'n guts to create scares and tension, but a ZOMBIE movie kinda does! I mean if your entire movie is based around the human race fighting for survival against a horde of bloodthirsty, murderous creatures bent on carnage, and you're not showing, or -- actually worse -- diluting that carnage, you have a problem. One almost laughably toned-down scene in particular in which Lane has to amputate a soldier's hand after she's bitten, really hammers home how much of a slave to that lucrative PG-13 rating Forster and co. were.
It's not all bad though; Pitt gives a good performance in the lead, even if he doesn't exactly have much opportunity to set the screen on fire. And he's supported by a talented cast..again, not given enough to do. Also there are a couple of interesting ideas that are touched on -- no doubt echoes of the geopolitical themes of the novel -- but never explored properly. Plus, if all you're looking for is an action movie to pass the time then you could do a lot worse -- despite some overly choppy editing (no doubt to refrain from lingering on the nastiness too much) the set pieces are handled pretty well, and there is quite a bit of fun to be had in the final half hour or so, when the zombies go "dormant".
All-in-all not a complete disaster, but decent performances and a few thrills are not enough to recommend this muted, bloodless (in every sense) affair; too afraid to be a full-on zombie movie and not interesting enough to be anything else. Oh, and the 3D conversion is wretched too
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