World War Z (2013)

World War Z (2013)
  • Time: 116 min
  • Genre: Action | Drama | Horror
  • Director: Marc Forster
  • Cast: Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, David Morse


World War Z follows the adventures of a United Nations employee and his family who find themselves trapped in the middle of a massive zombie epidemic. He is soon brought into service to help find answers to stop the deadly occurrence from destroying humanity as we know it.


  • “World War Z” isn’t a great zombie flick, nor is it a bad one. It has a lot of suspension in the beginning, and action throughout, but I was left wanting more. The movie had a promising start with great tension, I loved the whole scene when they were in the apartment with the other family, and then they try to escape to get onto the helicopter. Unfortunately, after this scene, that’s when the whole movie starts to go downhill. The acting in this film is average, Brad Pitt turns in a solid performance, but everyone else is average to slightly above average in it. If you watch a lot of zombie movies you aren’t going to find much new here. Also, there is no character build-up and a really bad ending… average zombie thriller overall.

  • World War Z is a PG-13 movie adaptation of the 2006 Max Brooks novel of the same name. However, if my Google research is correct, the movie has very little to do with the book. And if history taught us anything is that movie adaptations are often not as good as the books they are trying to adapt – especially if they greatly differ from their source material. I, for one, didn’t read the book and am not able to judge whether World War Z was or wasn’t a successful adaptation. But I can judge World War Z as a stand alone movie and I must say – it’s not particularly good.

    The movie is mostly about Brad Pitt’s character – a former U.N. employee named Gerry Lane – trying to find a cure for the zombie outbreak. There isn’t much plot to World War Z and the story hasn’t got any important establishing points. That is one of the problems with World War Z – there is no real plot development. World War Z “compensates” for the lack of a coherent story with being a fast paced/action packed movie. The movie’s action sequences literally start within the first several minutes and almost never stop during this 2 hour long ADD fest. To be honest, there is some mild social commentary to be found somewhere in the story, but nothing significantly distinguishable from the usual cliches.

    Besides the weak plot, World War Z, unfortunately, has a problem with how it portrays zombies. It was obvious that World War Z wanted to break the world record for the movie with the largest number of zombies. Of course, the creators of this movie couldn’t possibly achieve this goal by using only actors with make-up so they created the huge zombie masses by using CGI. As a result of that, the zombies in World War Z look very artificial. Sometimes I even felt like I was watching something from a live action video game (not unlike Left 4 Dead), which definitely isn’t a good thing. In conclusion, I mostly enjoyed the movie during the third act, when the actual actors in make-up replace the inane computer-generated caricatures.

    Furthermore, World War Z doesn’t really invest in its characters, save from Brad Pitt’s character: they are all bland, one dimensional and boring – and when uninteresting characters die/fight for their lives there isn’t much drama to it. Still, if you’re not really that interested in drama/characters/overall story and just want to watch action scenes and eat popcorn – World War Z is the movie for you, since there are some really impressive and tense action scenes. As for the rest of you, I certainly wouldn’t recommend World War Z because of how disappointing the movie feels – it’s just a weak shadow of something that could have been great.

    Rating: 5/10

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  • Based on a novel by author Max Brooks and starring the venerable Brad Pitt (he’s also a co-producer), World War Z is not your typical zombie movie. It doesn’t have tongue and cheek humor like 2009’s Zombieland, it’s not overly depressing and dark like 2002’s 28 Days Later, and doesn’t involve a shopping mall (ha ha). My view on this definitive summer blockbuster is that it is a straight up thriller that takes place mostly in the daylight hours. It takes a much bigger approach on the military front and projects the conflict of events to cater to the whole planet (hence the title), not the confines of a town or village (Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead come to mind).

    Honestly, this might be the most realistic entry in the zombie genre that I can remember and believe me I’ve seen them all. If the happenings in this vehicle occurred in real life, I’m sure that this is how it would go down according to “Z’s” make-up (with the exception of the actions pertaining to the Pitt character. I will get to that later). Directed with a nice big canvas and delivering some atomic scares with minimal gore (that might have to do with the PG-13 rating), World War Z is a sold, fierce exercise. However, it’s part of a long list of films that have shades of greatness but don’t quite make it across the finish line. There is a lack of a build up in the opening ten minutes which renders it less compelling (without hesitation, the zombies attack and you barely get to know the main characters). Then there is the ending which was rumored to have re-shoots. It’s got that blatant Hollywood feel and once you see it, you’d think that the studio execs were solely responsible (I may be wrong in saying this, but I’m pretty sure director Marc Forster didn’t have a say in the final cut). I will recommend what’s on screen though because it does effectively what a lot of scary movies are able to accomplish. For example, if you saw Jaws back in the day, you’d probably stay out of the water for a while. After seeing “WWZ,” I didn’t even want to venture out of the theater. I literally thought the undead were waiting for me. This sobering nail biter haunted me (it haunts me right now) and I believe that that’s something only a good movie is able to pull off. Notice I said a good movie, not a great movie. Let’s just say that when World War Z isn’t chaotic, it’s deflating. You anxiously wait for the next fight between Pitt and the crazily possessed. Everything in between is as bland as tap water (it didn’t need to be though).

    As the flick opens, we meet Gerry Lane (Pitt), who is a retired united nations investigator. In the opening scene, he’s having breakfast with his wife and two children. Cut to downtown Philadelphia and Lane and his family are caught in rush hour traffic. Within seconds, a hoard of zombies storm down the road feasting on every human in sight. Lane, after observing how long it takes for someone to become a zombie after being bitten (12 seconds from what I remember), gets in his car and somehow is able to drive his family out of traffic and onto a back road. From then on, he gets a call from his U.N. superiors and boom, he’s picked up on top of a building by helicopter and told that it’s up him to save the world (he’s not a doctor or a scientist but what the heck, it’s a movie). Basically he has to travel to across the globe to find the host (the first attacking agent) and decipher what measures can be taken for survival. He does all this while his family is safely left behind (an odd plot point but it’s not that big of a deal).

    While watching “WWZ”, I learned a couple of things that I initially didn’t not know about the zombie world. For instance, they are drawn to noise. And I’m not just talking loud, richter scale stuff. Even the slightest clank or clutter sets them off. Also, they attack only healthy human beings. If you have a terminal disease and are near death, they run right past you. And make no mistake about it, these are the fastest zombies I’ve ever seen. They really snap to it by almost tackling each other to get to their human targets. If you’ve seen the trailer, you’ll also notice that they to climb on top of each other relentlessly to scale a wall. The whole image is hair- raising and disturbing, but brilliant at the same time. Honestly, it was hard at times to see exactly what was going on in a lot of scenes (think the look of the car chase from The Bourne Supremacy). But being that everything happening is so chaotic in modern day thrillers, the confusion can work because it’s rooted in facaded realism.

    Then there is the Pitt performance which could be played by any professional actor. It doesn’t require a whole lot but I’m certain that the producers wanted a big name star attached to the project (solid box office returns is a plus). Pitt really plays it low key through the entire 2 hour running time. Usually, he’s as animated as any actor you’ll find. But in “Z”, he lets his facial expressions do more of the talking (when he runs from the zombies though, it looks more like light jogging). With this approach, his character has plenty of screen presence to burn (he’s looking like 1980’s Robert Redford more and more each day but what’s up with the early 90’s grunge getup). The rest of the cast does an adequate job despite the limitations of the script. I’m not sure though if it was the theater I was in (sound might have been a little off), but a lot of the actors mumbled their lines from time to time. It was an observation that I hope was definitively wrong.

    In retrospect, there is a substantial amount of entertainment here. Flawed yet enigmatic and full of unbearable tension, World War Z is tailor made for the summer moviegoer. It also answers two important questions: Can this type of flick with a big name star like Pitt be effective? Sure why not. And can a PG-13 horror fest with minimal gore and reduced violent imagery still scare and haunt you? You betcha. So to sum up this review, I’ll say this, “Z” gets my recommendation. It’s a serviceable thriller and it gets a solid grade of a “B”.

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  • “Most people don’t believe something can happen until it already has. That’s not stupidity or weakness, that’s just human nature.”

    The movie looks like “I am Legend”, but on a higher level. I thought it was an exciting and wonderful action disaster movie to sit back and watch it from your couch, with a bowl of salted peanuts, on a Friday night. The zombie concept plays a major role but ultimately it’s not a real zombie movie. Where a zombie movie emphasis on bringing the pictures as gross as possible (dismembering human individuals f.e.), WWZ emphasis on the visualization of the mass hysteria that was caused by a rapidly spreading deadly virus. In my view, these shots were magnificent visualized at certain times. The mass moving like running water and how a group of brainless zombies are jumping at everything while chattering with their teeth. For me, the term zombie was shown in a very different way. And it was a very successful way eventually.

    The difference between WWZ and “I am legend” is not that mankind is the cause of the whole disaster, but Mother Nature made sure of this. The ultimate weapon against the calamity in the form of a terminal illness causing the creatures to leave you alone, was a new and refreshing idea. Also, it was made ​​credible by saying that this was also applied in the animal kingdom to avoid sick targets. I compare WWZ rather with a movie like “Outbreak”, but on a larger scale.

    Pitt played a more than creditable role. I found him masterly in “Se7en” and “Inglorious Bastards” but this interpretation may be added to his list of the better performances. He continues to keep that boyish look and always plays with such nonchalance. In WWZ the coolness in which he approached certain situations was overwhelming. The family situation wasn’t a reason to go all corny and mellow and a female Israeli soldier ultimately became the ultimate co-protagonist.

    There were some weak points for me :

    1. The totally unnecessary part with the young scientist who shot himself through the head after a slip in a rather dorky way.
    2. The role that Israel supposedly played. First I thought it was a critical look at the state Israel. It looked as if they premeditated completed the protective wall. Sounds a bit the same as the rumors that apparently they warned their employers in the Twin Towers before the disaster happened. I must admit that the images of the accumulating zombies provided hallucinatory images.
    3. The seemingly impossible quest for Patient Zero by Brad Pitt goes quite smoothly.

    Despite these minor reservations, most images were tremendously exciting and nerve wracking. The final scenes in the WHO building reminded me several times of the game “Half-life”. Beautifully imaged with those destroyed labs and deserted corridors.

    Clearly I found it a very fine film. And if it would ever come to a global pandemonium, but not with zombies but a kind of Ebola version that rapidly spreads around , I already have a bit of a visual view of how things will turn out then !

  • World War Z is another zombie movie, but what sets it apart is the screenplay.So is it worth your time ?


    1. Story: Same old same old zombie movie.. nothing new to find here.

    2. Bit slow at places.


    1. Direction: One thing that sets it apart is its direction. The screenplay is very nice and keeps everyone on the edge of their seat.

    2. Special Effects: Some kickass special effects will keep the adrenaline rushing, specially the ones where zombies pile up.

    3. 3D effectts: 3D effects are really nice throughout the movie.

    4. Performances: Its a movie where everyone has acted well and noone really stands out, a team effort.

    5. Climax: A special applause for climax scene where tension was such that nobody in hall dared to move a muscle.

    Overall, this movie is a good watch, with some scenes shot really well and leading upto a satisfying climax. The movie right from the beginning dove into the story with zombies flying out from everywhere and slowly builds up on past. So there is a suspense factor here too.

    Rating : 3.75/5

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