In an alternate present day, the zombie apocalypse has been dormant across the world for some time. Countries and continents alike are being destroyed with little to no traces of humanity surviving. Please be aware that these zombies, or “Z’s”, are more ferocious, deadly, and agile than what has ever been shown in a typical undead film. Should you get bitten by one of the undead, it will take ten seconds for the virus to take it’s toll and you will become a creature yourself. This is where the main character of the story, Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt), comes into play.
Not much is revealed about our hero throughout the film; all we will ever know is that Gerry was once a soldier, or a spy, or an operative for the United Nations. While driving in Philadelphia with his family, Gerry witnesses a massive zombie invasion heading right for them. People are bitten and transform into the undead left and right causing massive panic throughout the streets. After hiding in an apartment complex, Gerry and his family are rescued via helicopter and taken back to a marine controlled aircraft carrier. In order to provide shelter for his family aboard the carrier, Gerry is then called back into the line of duty and must find a way to save the human population from all becoming extinct.
What World War Z tends to do best, besides providing tons of action, is to be vague and confusing whenever possible. Again, we are never given any insight into Gerry’s past beyond the fact that he had ties to the United Nations. Along with that, we are never given any explanation for how the zombie outbreak starts off. Within the first hour of the film we learn that the origin of the virus could have happened somewhere in the Middle East. When Gerry arrives, he learns that maybe it happened in Africa, or India, or China, but it definitely did not happen in the Middle East. Why was that part of the story even included?
Character development is also severely lacking in World War Z as well. While Brad Pitt is the main star of the film, it doesn’t mean that he necessarily has to hog all the screen time. Most of the people that Brad’s character meets is just an overall waste of time. Why is that you may be asking? Nearly every time Brad shows up in a new location, a hoard of zombies somehow end up getting into town, and then suddenly start wrecking stuff and killing any side characters in the film. This happens more than once by the way. If that were not bad enough, all side characters end up revealing nothing important for the plot whatsoever. It seems an inevitable zombie death is one way to tie up loose ends huh Marc Forster?
Speaking of zombies, this film has a lot of them. If the trailers for the film did not show enough zombies to satisfy you, then have no fear because you do see blood, dismemberment, and experience tons of chills and screams frequently in World War Z. This positive feeling of horror is also accompanied by many instances of humor which is inviting and makes you feel comfortable right before something terrifying and thrilling heads around the corner. This is a good thing and is one of the highlights of the film. Who ever said that a horror film can’t be filled with humor and still work?
World War Z is a film that wants to focus on the story, but ends up failing and does much better in action and terror scenes. This is a summer blockbuster plain and simple. If you are looking for a deeper story then you came to the wrong film. However, if you would like to kill two hours and enjoy some great zombie moments, then come on in, take a seat, and enjoy because World War Z is sure to be a great distraction for you.
(originally posted on Gotchamovies.com)
IMDB Score: 7.3
My Score: 6.9