Warning – Some Spoilers. My movie review on World War Z for The WOD Magazine.
World War Z
Movie Review By Michael Bradley
I was looking forward to seeing World War Z after the trailers on television. The thought of Brad Pitt bringing his resources to a film along with “fast zombies” looked interesting. Unfortunately, the trailers are more exciting than the film. In summary, you get to see lots of close ups of Brad Pitt wondering what to do next, amazingly convenient plot devices, and zombies that had me laughing at several points during the movie, along with others in the audience.
It is not that Brad Pitt acts poorly in the film, but there is absolutely no character development. He has a family he cares about that his friends use to blackmail him into helping them. How is that for a story? His character is some vague UN investigator, leaving you to wonder if he was para-military, medical, just good at mysteries, or what? The movie never really explains what his expertise is in.
The beginning is the best, and even slightly scary, as zombies attack with lightning speed and people turn in just twelve seconds. It gets you fired up for an action packed thriller that never happens. Instead, Brad Pitt is so important, though we never find out why, that they break out all resources to rescue him. After that, he whisks magically to Korea, Israel and Cardiff despite the world falling apart. In each place he observes a few people un-attacked. The story is so linear that you know at each point he will get a clue, move on, and solve the problem.
There are so many plot holes but one bares mention above the others. Israel has managed to heed early warnings and protect its people behind a huge wall and track entrants through controlled ports of entry. Do they bother to have even one guard or weapon on the walls? Of course not, let’s not notice the zombies until they are jumping over.
After he and his friend along the way magically survive an aircraft crash and then magically find a WHO research center while both wounded, he gets a revelation why the zombies don’t attack certain people. One that there is absolutely no reason for him to come up with based on the movie. What follows includes zombies that squawk comically like chickens and one that clicks its teeth like Fire Marshal Bill from In Living Color. At both points the audience was actually laughing out loud.
After that, Brad Pitt’s character magically communicates his vaccine around the world despite a dead satellite phone, UN personnel around the world put together the cure despite worldwide crisis, and Brad Pitt is picked up and taken across the Atlantic to be with his family. It was the least scary zombie film ever and one of the most poorly written mystery/adventure films as well. The movie’s earlier action scenes are entertaining, but overall the film is a disappointment.