Thursday, July 4, 2013

Movie Review - World War Z

Well here is a first, and you are here to share it with me.  This is the first movie review that I have written for a movie that is still in the theater.  The movie is World War Z.

I will preface this review by saying this is not typically the type of movie that I watch on my own.  I was invited by a friend to go see this flick.  It was a fun time, I got my butt off of my couch and actually got to go to the movie theater again. 

I had seen trailers for this film, which is why I knew it wasn't my kind of movie, but did not really know what to make of this film before I went to see it.  After watching it I still don't really know what to make of it.

Let's start with the positive, the special effects were awesome.  The zombies are really well done, they are scary, shambling, monsters.  The transformation scenes are quite gruesome and intriguing to watch.  There is a scene in the film where the zombies are trying to climb a wall that is quite epic.  They all throw themselves at the wall and smash into each other and just start climbing over each other until they form a human scaffold.  This scene was really quite terrifying, because it presents the zombies as a single minded, unstoppable, killing force that is scary as hell.  The movie makeup is very well done, assuming they had some real people playing zombie in the film and it was not all computer graphics that is.  There are some scenes late in the film where you are quite close up to the zombies and it is amazing how well done they are.

On to the acting.  There were some really amazing actors in this film; although I would not count Brad Pitt among them.  Perhaps the writers are to blame, but Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) is so laid back that you don't really get the feeling that he cares about anything.  Sure he is all dark and broody but he is so detached from his surroundings that it sort of takes away from how crazy the events of the movie really are.  Many of the supporting actors are quite amazing in their roles though.  One example is Mireille Enos who plays Gerry's wife Karin.  Mireille does a great job, Karin is strong for her family, yet scared as hell at the same time.  She pulls this off quite well actually.  Or perhaps Fana Mokoena who plays Thierry Umutoni, a government agent who helps Gerry and his family out of the zombie infested city.  Thierry is very serious in this role as you would expect any person to be in the given situation.  And lets face it, some of the zombie actors are even better at displaying emotion than Brad Pitt is in this film.

Perhaps the biggest gripe I have with the movie is it's cohesion.  There are several very good scenes in the film, the zombie's at the wall for one example, but as a whole the movie just isn't very good.  The movie feels very forced.  The way that they follow Gerry eludes to the fact that he is important, yet they never really tell you why he is important.  Yeah they say he was an great agent in the past but the events of the movie never show you that side of him.  The way they make a big deal out of extracting him from the city you would think he was the president.  They give Gerry the task of finding out how to stop the zombies.  This is of course is the whole point of the film, but you don't really feel like you are solving that problem until the last 30 minutes of the film.  The rest of it feels like filler, trying to expand on the story, yet only proving to bore you with details.

The whole film feels like a bunch of disconnected events smashed together until we finally present you with a goal, which is then complicated by events that just there to extend the length of the film.  We need something, but zombies are in the way, we can't possibly just get this something we need somewhere else.  No, we must get it here, so we will now sneak through the zombies in an intense, yet unnecessary scene that adds drama to the film without really adding any substance.

As a whole this film was entertaining, but lacking.  It could have been better, but they had to have that blockbuster feel of all these big scenes that did not really help tell the story.  If you are into zombie films then perhaps this doesn't matter to you.  There certainly is plenty of zombie carnage, gore and destruction, yet I can't help but feel the story could have been stronger.

I rate this film two smiley Mike heads.  It was clever in the solution to the problem, and it had some really neat zombie action, but the story was severely stunted

I was going to rate it two and a half smiley Mike heads but I realized I didn't have an image for that, so I bumped it to two.  Laziness for the win.  In a why it sort of is fitting for this film, since the writers were too lazy to write a decent script for it.

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