Movie Review: World War Z

Tuesday, July 2, 2013
Note: If you haven't seen World War Z, there will be spoilers in this review. You have been warned.

Still with me? Okay, here we go.

Let me start out by saying that if you like movies that are nothing BUT adrenaline-pumping action fests, then this is the perfect movie for you.

If you like a consistent story with your action, or even some points of comic relief, or intriguing story, or...something else? Not the movie for you.

Oh, and a dog dies. A cute Chihuahua. (You don't see it die, but it either got eaten or sucked out of the plane.)

If you like a movie where Brad Pitt is, literally, in almost every single scene? Knock yourself out.

If you're hoping this movie has anything in common with the book that inspired it by Max Brooks? Yeah, keep looking. It's NOTHING like the book. At all.

I left this movie almost feeling sick to my stomach. I definitely felt worn out, like I'd run several laps out in the hot sun around the parking lot. When I say they literally took less than five minutes to establish the "normal world" before tossing the viewer into the adrenaline rush, and that it doesn't LET UP until the end of the movie? I meant it.

Let me add I am NOT averse to horror movies, or thrillers, or action/adventure movies. HOWEVER, the best movies that keep the tension rolling along allow the viewer a few spaces here and there to catch your breath.

This movie does not do that. At all. There are no little places where we see light moments, or places where the tension eases up even for a second.

Now, I could have let all of that slide. I could have gone along with a lot. Unfortunately, the director was far too eager to embrace CGI and when these people get infected, they LITERALLY get infected in less than 15 seconds, and then suddenly they have all this superhuman strength and speed and shit. The promos where they're climbing a wall like ants? Yeah, they're climbing a wall LIKE ANTS. (Which was a really heavy-handed nod to all the environmental collapse stuff in the opening credits.)

Unlike The Walking Dead, where the zombies start decaying and losing parts, these don't. And there's absolutely no explanation for it. "Zombies bad. Zombies infect you. Run fast."

Seriously. You could sum it up in those words. There's no REASON for them to suddenly develop all this superhuman strength and speed. They didn't even try to stick to the premise of the world they created.

And they have these little hints that Brad Pitt's character sees earlier in the movie to pose his hypothesis, and they might as well have stuck a K-Mart blue light special on them, they were that obvious.

I had read before its release that they'd had to reshoot the whole third act, which ran the movie over-budget. I'm wondering now if it's because maybe there was an actual human aspect to the plot that took it down a few notches and...oh, I don't know, let you BREATHE, maybe?

Also, seriously? A military cargo plane like they showed launching off an aircraft carrier (which, while I don't know the kind of aircraft it was, I'm preeeety sure it was waaaay too big to launch off that short of a runway) can NOT make it from the eastern North Atlantic allllll the way over to South Korea without a refueling stop. Ain't happening. And then when they escape from South Korea, they see someone let loose a nuke, but we don't know who or where. Only that it interrupted Brad's sat phone call...yet didn't knock out the plane's electronic equipment.

Really? REALLY?

Let's totally suspend the laws of physics or thermodynamics or electronics or whatever that's called.

We find out from a CIA operative with no teeth who's locked up in a jail cell in South Korea that North Korea is surviving this because they yanked out everyone's teeth in twenty-four hours.

I...have no words. I don't even remember if that happened in the book or not, but the only reason that Agent McToothless was there was to point Brad toward Israel. (And the plane refueling sequence...I just...I have no words. Thirty seconds from a truck is enough to fly them from South Korea to ISRAEL????)

Of course the "funny" thing that happened when they got there is their hot-shot doctor Brad Pitt is supposed to be helping to figure out what caused it trips and accidentally shoots himself in the head.

I can't make this stuff up. I guess he would have taken too much screen time away from Brad Pitt.

In Israel, they land, he finds the guy he's looking for, who's giving him the grand tour of their now-walled up city. But they let some people in a holding area waiting to get in, who are just so gosh-darned happy to be alive, that they let them take a microphone and SING.

You guessed it, it made the zombies start doing their little anthill impersonation.

Someone REEEEAAALLLYYY wanted to get their money's worth out of the CGI crew. Again, it's not that they swarmed. It's that they LITERALLY were doing it with superhuman strength and speed.

Oh, and Brad chopped the hand of an Israeli soldier helping him escape because she got bit. She didn't turn, so he wraps up her arm, they stop a jetliner about to take off and get on, and he makes it all better with little bottles of vodka and the first-aid kit.

They crash land in Cardiff on the way to the WHO lab. Somehow, even though she's missing a hand and he's been impaled by a piece of metal, and they land literally in the middle of fucking nowhere with no idea where they're at, they magically make their way through a town to the WHO lab.

And then his sat phone, on which the battery had died, suddenly is working again. (I don't know, maybe it's a magic universal charger they used on it?) And he wakes up three days later restrained to a gurney and minus his nifty new kabob belly bling, and two WHO guys are brandishing his sat phone at him and asking him who the fuck he is and why the fuck he's here.

Um, couldn't they have asked Little Miss Righty? Who apparently they treated as well? She was an Israeli soldier trying to get his sorry ass to an evac zone to get him out. Sooo...? Plot flaws much?

Apparently, Brad Pitt's production company acquired the rights to the book and wanted to make something showing Brad Pitt in every scene with zombies and as an environmental warning analogy flick.

Because that's about all it is. I think even Brad Pitt was embarrassed to be in this movie, because I know if I had superhuman zombies chasing my ass, I'd be screaming, or swearing, or...something. Nope, he winces a little when he wakes up still strapped into his airplane seat and realizes he's now a Brad-kabob, but other than that... Meh. The ending was also a disappointing let down. A, "Really? That's it?" kind of moment.

But there was absolutely no excuse to kill the Chihuahua. It even had a cute little pink collar.

2 reader comments:

  1. Kenna said...:

    I thought the movie was ok. I do like action and zombies? LOVE them! Of course, this was nothing like the book. The book was amazing!

    What disappointed me the most, though, is how they worked so hard to get a PG13 rating to get more money out of it. They made it too clean. Brad beat a zombie's brains out with a tire iron, and no gore flew? A unit of army rangers, and not one "Shit" or "Fuck" out of their mouths? No way that's gonna happen!! They should have gone for the R rating and make it a little more realistic (Or as realistic as a zombie movie could be).

    I was willing to suspend my disbelief for a couple of hours, but seriously, everybody BUT Brad and the Israeli girl died in the plane crash? I just couldn't abide by that one and very loudly called "BULLSHIT"! Luckily, we were at a drive in, and nobody really cared.

    I considered this one to be a nice distraction from real life for just a little bit. You really didn't have to THINK about anything and just go for the ride.

  1. Karen said...:

    It was amazing how Brad Pitt made it out of each situation, but it was a good, mindless adrenaline rush!