Thursday, June 20, 2013

World War Z Early Thoughts

As a self-proclaimed "zombie movie expert", I had yet to be excited for this movie.  I got an opportunity to watch it tonight, and I'm not sure how I feel about it.  This is kind of a review I guess...I am not good at reviewing anything, so this is really just a collection of my thoughts on it.

Now I hate to admit this, but as a huge Zombie Survival Guide fan, I went out and bought World War Z immediately after it came out.  Unfortunately, for some reason I have never actually cracked it open.  I'm not sure why, and I really have no excuse.  Either way, this film apparently just has absolutely nothing to do with the book anyway.

The film stars Brad Pitt.  While I have never seen a Brad Pitt movie he didn't do well in, I didn't see how he was a good choice for this movie.  After watching it, I'm satisfied with their choice.  He is definitely a believe-able actor, and I can see him being a bad ass without problem.  Nobody else from the movie really seems to stand out after watching it, nobody did a bad job that I can recall.

I'll start with what I like about the movie.  It is pretty intense.  It has a PG-13 rating, which I will talk about later, but still seemed violent and intense.  The action scenes definitely kept my attention, and the zombies seem to be a genuine threat.  All of the scenes with zombies chasing people had me on the edge of my seat.  Parts of the film felt like Left 4 Dead the movie.
 It also kind of reminds me on 28 Days Later, probably just do to the running zombies I guess.  It feels like what would have happened within the first 28 days we don't see in 28 Days Later.

Now I don't want to just bash on this movie, I did enjoy some of it.  It was considerably more drama than I expected, but that isn't a bad thing.  I was expecting a popcorn action flick.

I'm a fan of traditional zombies: slow-moving, flesh-eating, barely walking chunks of flesh stuck on bones.  In this film, the zombies move extremely fast, they are extremely strong, and can apparently climb each other.  I have like other zombie movies with fast moving zombies, 28 Days Later is kind of a zombie movie, and I enjoyed the Dawn of the Dead remake despite the running.  The zombies in World War Z seem to be a giant threat, like one or two could easily take any person on.  Obviously, I should suspend belief if I am watching a zombie movie, but why would you get faster and stronger after dying?...

I mean the zombies are climbing each other to get over a massive wall, they even run so fast into a bus it flips over!  Luckily, they do go down from destroying the brain.  Most films seem to get that right though.

I'm not really sure how to explain it, but the film lasted almost two hours, and at times seemed really slow, but at other times seemed like they rushed it.  I can't really explain it, I just feel like they spent a great sum of time of some things that didn't need it, and little time on some major events.

Now for the ratings.  It has a PG-13 rating, and that is very appropriate for the content in the film.  There is little to no blood, when somebody gets shot there is no exit wound of anything like that.  In fact, we rarely get decent shots of undead, just quick frames that don't reveal much.

The close-combat action in the film is somehow off camera.  Brad Pitt kills a zombie with a crowbar, but you don't really see the zombie as he does it.  He also dresses a wound, but again, you can't see what is going on, just noises.  It isn't bad, I'm not saying every zombie movie needs excessive violence and gore; it was still very entertaining and suspenseful without blood.  However, there were a few action scenes that just seemed simply chopped up.  I feel like it was filmed with an R rating in mind, then they just cut out all the actual shots of intense violence.  Many of the action scenes have so many different frames per second that I could hardly tell what was going on.  This may have been intentional though, the whole movie is a rush to get to safety.

I would recommend it for any Brad Pitt fan.  It isn't for every zombie movie fan, but if you are open-minded about the genre you will probably like it, I'm not open-minded about it.  If you are a huge fan of the book, don't expect it to resemble it at all!  I've read there are a few references here and there, I'm going to start reading the book now so I'll find out!


Seriously, don't read if you haven't seen it.

Some of the movie was just ridiculous.  I know I am watching a zombie movie, but I couldn't help but laugh a few times.  First of all, the guy just slipping on the plane and shooting himself in the face.  It was kind of funny, not sure that is what they were going for, but I laughed.  It seems implausible, but could happen I guess.  I really didn't like how violent that plane crash was, then he was more or less fine a few days later.  That was a hell of a plane crash.

Also, I felt the ending was super rushed.  Maybe it was just that the runtime was getting long or something, but after they mention that Brad Pitt's family is in Nova Scotia, I expecting to see him at the camp at least.  I know we got the shot of him being reunited with his family during the epilogue, I just expected more.  I just felt like it didn't really end, maybe they are wanting a sequel?  I don't think it would work, but they find this way to combat the undead, but they just kind of mention it in the epilogue.  Please post your thoughts!

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