Review: WORLD WAR Z (2013) | Casey's Movie Mania | Movie Reviews, Features & Others

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Review: WORLD WAR Z (2013)

Why are we running, Dad? I thought those zombies just want you to sign some autographs...
As the most expensive zombie movie ever made, WORLD WAR Z have its fair share of epic spectacle and some effective thrills, but the overall movie often ruined by chaotic cameraworks while the story feels shopworn.

Plagued with budget overrun (from $125 million to $200 million), script rewrites, complete third-act reshoot and other numerous production setbacks, it's easy to dismiss that WORLD WAR Z is reeked of bad movie. But upon finally watching it in the cinema, WORLD WAR Z isn't as bad as all those negative publicity suggested at the first place. It isn't good either, but rather more of an average big-scale zombie movie that doesn't really justify the hefty cost of the production budget.


On a typical morning stuck in the Philadelphia traffic jam, retired U.N. investigator Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) and his family -- wife Karen (Mireille Enos), daughters Rachel (Abigail Hargrove) and Constance (Sterling Jerins) -- are curious to see helicopters circling around the sky before a sudden explosion in the city causing immediate panic attacks. It doesn't take long before Gerry and his family find themselves in the midst of chaos as people are seen running away when all hell breaks loose with a horde of the undead comes charging for flesh-and-blood living humans. Gerry and his family quickly go on the run, and subsequently being saved by a helicopter sent by his old boss Thierry (Fana Mokoena) and transported to military ship U.S.S. Argus somewhere in the Atlantic ocean. Once there, Gerry learns that a highly-contagious virus has infected millions of peoples on all continents and a team of scientists are now actively finding the roots of the sudden outbreak. In an effort to locate where the outbreak is actually started, Gerry is forced to return to his old job after being threatened by the U.S. military that his family will be get kicked off the ship if he refuses to cooperate. Soon, Gerry travels to Camp Humphreys in South Korea before landed in Jerusalem and finally to the W.H.O. Research Facility in Wales where Gerry is determined to find a vaccine or cure to save the mankind from total extinction.

Marc Forster's direction is fairly engaging especially the way he captures the bird's-eye view of the undead spreading across the cities, while the movie is particularly lively once Gerry sets his foot at the Jerusalem. Then there's the climactic third-act (which is rewritten by Damon Lindelof) is especially nail-biting.

The Israel-set sequence where a horde of zombies climbing over the fortified wall and starts wrecking havoc; the intense zombie-in-the-airplane sequence which follows with a terrifying airplane crash; and the low-key, yet claustrophobic cat-and-mouse finale at the W.H.O. Research Facility in Wales.

Like QUANTUM OF SOLACE (2008), Marc Forster still making the same mistake in WORLD WAR Z -- which is shooting the picture as chaotic as it gets until it's hard to decipher what is really going on during the action scene. Story-wise, which is based on Max Brooks' bestselling novel, is all standard stuff that incorporated zombie and disaster-movie genre, while the pacing is erratic. Most of the actors are as average as they get (with the exception of Brad Pitt) and it's kind of pity to watch a big-scale zombie movie reduced to a tame PG-13 -- meaning there's hardly blood or gore to be seen throughout the movie.

You, what? You tell those zombies to come here and eat me instead?

Overall, if you are expecting a fresh perspective of the oft-filmed zombie movie, you will be left sorely disappointed. But as a typical summer-movie event with a big-name star, WORLD WAR Z is adequate enough as a fairly worthwhile entertainment.

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