WORLD WAR Z: A REVIEW

Big thanks to SALTY KERNEL, NICK STANBROOK, for this fine review of The Walking Alive Brad Pitt movie. He kindly saw the advanced footage a few months ago – that you can read about HERE so it was only fitting that he finished it off and saw the entire thing, much to the envy of myself and the other Kernels.

Zombies! Zombies Everywhere! This is Brad Pitt’s Zombie epic.

Brad Pitt is playing the family man; he is stay-at-home dad Gerry Lane. As he cooks breakfast for his wife and two daughters, a news bulletin plays in the background, declaring martial law, in response to wide spread rioting. No one pays particular attention to this and they carry on with their day. Gerry and his family are stuck in a traffic jam. Sirens begin to sound in the background, and motorcycle police start riding past all of the cars. Then BAM! 5-10 minutes into the movie and the action has begun. World War Z does not mess around.

 

WORLD WAR Z - BRAD PITT ZOMBIEFEST REVIEW ON SALTY
WORLD WAR Z – BRAD PITT ZOMBIEFEST REVIEW ON SALTY

 

The first action scene slaps you in the face. Everyone is prepared for your usual long drawn out exposition about boring stereotypical characters, but no. We are thrown into chaos. This first scene sets up the style and tone for the rest of the movie. Lots of action, lots of zombies and not much characterization.

The big chaotic action scenes are amazing! They are well established, with a few solid wide shots, to set the scale. Then it gets close and frantic, people are being thrown to the ground, cars are smashing, and zombies are running like crazy. We get drawn into the mayhem but we never get confused. The editing is quick but we never lose sight of who is running and what they are running from.  Speaking of scale. This zombie threat spans the globe. Every country is effected. One of the action scenes features thousands and thousands of zombies!

 

WORLD WAR Z - BRAD PITT ZOMBIEFEST REVIEW ON SALTY
WORLD WAR Z – BRAD PITT ZOMBIEFEST REVIEW ON SALTY

 

The zombies are scary. They look like zombies, real zombies! None of these “cartoony” bright green things, that groan for brains, and definitely nothing like the zombies from I Am Legend (let’s not speak of these). Imagine real zombies. How would a real zombie look. A person infected with some kind of disease. And now imagine that infected person running at you like they want to eat you. That’s what the World War Z zombies look like. They look incredibly realistic, nothing silly or tongue in cheek about them. They act realistically, and it’s scary.

One thing that World War Z does badly, well kind of, is characterization. Usually we are introduced to characters, we form a bond, and we care about them. This is best done subtly and gradually. We meet Gerry and his family, then we occasionally see his wife again, but that’s about it. People are introduced but only briefly. I guess it is a side effect of hopping from country to country. In the end it isn’t really a bad thing, we don’t get bogged down with all of these characters that we have to keep track of that we know are just going to die anyway. However, by the end of the movie you feel a bit empty, like you have gone through this intense experience, but you aren’t really left with anything. I mean you care heaps for Gerry, (he is Brad Pitt, everyone loves Brad Pitt!) but there is no real emotional effect. Still not necessarily a bad thing. It allows you to be fully overwhelmed with the adrenaline and the thrill of the zombie apocalypse.

 

WORLD WAR Z - BRAD PITT ZOMBIEFEST REVIEW ON SALTY
WORLD WAR Z – BRAD PITT ZOMBIEFEST REVIEW ON SALTY

 

One of the most notable things that world War z does, is that it doesn’t make the usual mistakes that zombie movies make. It seems like every zombie/thriller/action movie has to include the things that infuriate the audience. Yet World War Z steers clear of most of these.

We have all experienced the communal groan in a cinema as the protagonists make blatantly stupid decisions that no sane person would ever make. There was no one in this movie, that infuriated me to the point where I wanted them to die. There was one moment that I felt was a deliberate statement. Gerry is running through New York City, with his wife and kids, the zombie horde quickly approaching, his youngest daughter drops her favourite toy. Now as the audience we expect that this will cause Brad to go back and get it, but be confronted by zombies, nearly get bitten and barely escape with his life. That’s not what happens, There is a quick close up of the toy, and then Brad’s hand reaches in, grabs the toy and they are back on their way. It was quick and painless, and we didn’t end up hating the kids! There are many moments like this, where we expect something stupid and frustrating to happen, but the characters react like normal people and avoid stupid deaths.

 

WORLD WAR Z - BRAD PITT ZOMBIEFEST REVIEW ON SALTY
WORLD WAR Z – BRAD PITT ZOMBIEFEST REVIEW ON SALTY

 

There was a lot of controversy over the speed of the zombies. The argument of fast zombies vs slow zombies was fierce. The book features heavily slow zombies. The movie however, just fast zombies, very fast zombies! If you haven’t read the book, then you have nothing to worry about, and if you have, just pretend you haven’t, take this as a separate piece of work. You will enjoy it more, trust me.

World War Z was epic, it was intense it had me literally on the edge of my seat. I loved this movie. It didn’t frustrate me, or make me want to yell at the screen. The zombies are really scary and Brad Pitt is really cool. This movie is far from emotional. I feel like it sacrificed the emotional connection so it could fit in more intensity. I think this was a wise choice. Too many films try and force an emotional connection which can just drag on and annoy your audience. World War Z made the correct decision, in saying there aint no time for emotions just run!

 

KERNEL NICK’S POP SCORE:

4 Pops

 

KERNEL BEN’S POP SCORE:

4 and a Half Pops

 

KERNEL ANDREW’S POP SCORE:

3 Pops

 

 

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