Monday, September 23, 2013

Film Review: World War Z (2013)

World War Z (Review)
United States/2013
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"I didn't like the intro ... but the rest of the film had me at the edge of my seat."

After narrowly escaping a zombie outbreak in Philadelphia, former UN investigator Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) is sent around the world in search of a cure.

World War Z is an action/horror zombie thriller, with a pinch of mystery and social commentary. The story begins sloppily in Philadelphia with an epic escape sequence that spans the first 25 minutes or so. This sequence is filled with inconsistencies, illogicalities, and, worst of all in my opinion, poor screen direction. From the car escape to the supermarket, and then to the apartment complex, everything feels disconnected and insignificant -- the characters, the dialogue, the story, the action... everything is so frantic you just don't know why or what you're watching. The lack of significance and screen direction continues into their retreat and the recruitment scenes, but it isn't as bad as the story begins to develop.

Fortunately, World War Z picks itself up for another hour and a half of nonstop action and investigation. Gerry traveled the world, albeit not in too much detail, as he tries to track the virus and find the cure. Every location has it's own epic set piece, whether it be escaping hordes of zombies in Israel or racing against zombies to fuel up your plane in South Korea. Hell, even a plane has its own set piece. These action sequences use a little suspense, some horror, and plenty of thrills to keep you at the edge of your seat until the end. The final sequence has more tension and horror than the rest of the film; the ending itself feels a bit abrupt and unsatisfactory, but it does the job.

Brad Pitt is great as the lead; his character doesn't demand much, yet Pitt delivers a realistic, human performance. The supporting cast is also great. I really enjoy the soundtrack in this film, especially the theme that plays during the credits. The cinematography is usually great, however, some scenes are too dark, and, along with the frantic action, it's difficult to comprehend some scenes. This isn't a traditional zombie film, World War Z uses a lot of computer effects and the zombies aren't as graphic as expected nor was the violence; but, I think the computer effects worked well with the scale of the zombie hordes, which were ridiculous. Mark Foster was able to recover from the bad direction in the intro, but he seldomly reaches exceptional levels.

Overall, World War Z is a very good action/horror blockbuster. I didn't like the intro and it has a few technical flaws, but the rest of the film had me at the edge of my seat. For fans of blockbuster action, World War Z delivers.

Score: 7/10
Parental Guide: Violence and blood, some gore.

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