Release Date: In Theaters now.
Country: USA, Malta.
Written by: Matthew Michael Carnahan, Drew Goddard, Damon Lindelof and Max Brooks.
Directed by: Marc Forster.
Starring: Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, Daniella Kertesz, James Badge Dale and Fana Mokoena.
"Attention: The new Brad Pitt zombie apocalypse actioner, World War Z, DOES NOT SUCK. I repeat: World War Z DOES NOT SUCK."
The preceding was an announcement of the Surprised as Shit Broadcast System.
... and trust us, we're definitely surprised as shit.
Max Brooks' novel, World War Z, was a brilliant little piece of document fiction that kept us turning the pages late into the night. When it was over, we were pissed, because we wanted more.
When it was announced that a feature film version was in the works, and that it would star uber-mega-ultra-star Brad Pitt, we were ecstatic... right up until we found out that it really wasn't going to follow the book at all, and just do its own thing. From that point on, not a shit was given by us about this bound-to-suck book adaptation, because they ruined what could have been a brilliant piece of cinema.
If you haven't read the book, you really should; it's basically a bunch of survivors accounts of what happened to them and the world during the Zombie Apocalypse known as "World War Z." Lots of different characters get their own chapters, and they all tell some pretty different stories, all of which are compelling as hell. It was a great read.
We always thought that If they were going to try to make a novel like that into any type of filmed project, that it would work best as a mini-series on HBO, using the mold of Band of Brothers (another work of brilliance that you should experience, if you already haven't.) At the beginning of each episode, you would have the people who survived the horrors of the Zombie Apocalypse, talking about what they went through, and then the episode starts, showing you their stories. Hell, you could have made two 10 episode seasons out of the material in that book, and it would have worked perfectly.
|"Oh. Yeah, I guess we could have done it like that..."|
From the beginning, WWZ seemed to be a production that was doomed to fail.
That's why I'm truly surprised, and genuinely pleased, to say that World War Z was a pretty fun flick that did its job well. Sure, I really wanted to see the personal stories in the interview format that made me love the book so much, but I suppose that sort of thing isn't really feasible for a summer blockbuster, and a blockbuster is what Paramount wanted.
As it turns out, a blockbuster is exactly what they got.
|Here we see audiences clamoring to see WWZ on opening weekend.|
Anywho, Zombie Apocalypse is in full swing with swarms of feral, ravenous undead out to pass their Zombie Virus on to the living, and it's up to Brad Pitt to save humanity. He's got a sharp eye, you see, and a keen investigative sense that makes him perfect for the job... the job of trekking across the globe and narrowly escaping death at every turn, while everyone else around him just dies horribly. He pretty much gets a lot of people killed.
Let's just sum it all up and move on, shall we? "Brad Pitt traverses the globe trying to find patient zero, and thus a cure for the Zombie menace that is consuming the world, all while his wife and kids sit on a boat, waiting for him to win the war and come back home." That's all you really need to know, isn't it? I mean, this isn't frigging Taming of the Shrew here, folks.
|Enough with the brooding close-ups, Brad Pitt, move your ass!|
The scale and scope of things in the movie is just massive, which I find to be pretty interesting; there's an aggressive global pandemic which is feverishly tearing its way through humanity on a massive scale, and yet everything feels so claustrophobic and confined. Maybe that juxtaposition is why the movie worked so well for us; as massive and sprawling as the world is, there's just no safe place to go. That is a truly terrifying concept to mull over.
Overall, World War Z was fun and made more out of its parts than I thought it ever could.
|The locales in WWZ looked a lot like Detroit at times.|
|What we did get was pretty shiny though...|
|Yeah, kid, we know.|
|... then who was phone?|
Just don't show up expecting to see anything from the book, and all will be well.
Of all the summer movies to have been released so far, WWZ stands as one of the most exciting of them. It's definitely worth a watch, and we'll be picking up a copy when it hits Blu-ray sometime this fall.
Mireille Enos always seems to play characters who often times appear to be plain, or even homely... which is apparently an act of clever deception on the part of producers, and maybe even a testament to her chameleon-like abilities as an actress, because she is one hot little ginger.