Wednesday, July 3, 2013

If you go in expecting a summer blockbuster...

you won't be disappointed. If instead you expect anything even remotely like the book, prepare for some serious frustration. This, in a nutshell, is my review of World War Z. Brace yourself for a few spoilers.
The movie is a quick-moving, action packed thriller. Most of the people you meet only stick around for like, a minute (they're zombie chow the next). The infectious virus doctor who is kind of funny and supposed to be the reason for the international mission? Yeah, he makes it to the first stop, just barely, and then? Yeah. You know the rest. So it goes with everyone Brad Pitt encounters for pretty much the entire film.
Let me give you the similarities between the book and the movie...don't worry, it's a pretty short list: there is someone with dubious connects to the UN (in the book it's a "postwar council" to record things, and in the movie it's just a guy who used to work there and is apparently good enough at life in general for them to send out a helicopter for him and his entire family to Newark, where no one ever wants to go, especially if it's filled with zombies), they go to a few different countries to show some differences in how the situation is handled (though North Korea is dealt with TOTALLY differently in both), and oh yeah, there are zombies. If you have read the book, you should know not to to expect much more than that. The cool bits about the ineptitude of the government, the rabies vaccine, establishing safe zones, what happens to the rest of the world, and how they started rebuilding? Well, they're just not entertaining enough to share screen time with Brad Pitt (apparently neither was his co-star, Mirielle Enos, who doesn't have enough time here to be as wonderful as she is in TV's The Killing). I also expected something to be mentioned about how the boats in the book were not safe at all, since in the movie they spent some time on a boat, but that was also ignored, sadly (would have made for a minute or two of interesting viewing).
All in all though, I enjoyed the movie. The "zombies" here are of the 28 Days Later virus-made super fast and strong variety, not The Night of the Living Dead slow and dumb variety. That kind of makes for better viewing, though it may not be totally accurate (but who am I to say?). It's a fun bit of zombie fare, if you're into that sort of thing, and Lord knows I am. But it's also a little trite. You know when you're supposed to remember something, and it's obvious if something will be important later. It also wraps up a little to cleanly at the end for my tastes, but that's just me.
If I were giving it stars, let's say 3 1/2 out of 5? Not the best movie, but I was entertained for about 2 hours, and it made for a good drive-in date night movie with the hubs. But don't bring the kids, unless they're not easily scared and also love zombies.

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