#REVIEW: “WORLD WAR Z”
Review by: Sarah Gopaul for Mr. Will Wong
The suggestion that the living dead may one day roam the Earth used to be no more than a joke or metaphor for more realistic societal issues (see George A. Romero‘s many interpretations). But as the genre becomes more prevalent, so too does the concept of preparedness — for anything. Even emergency responders are using the Zombie outbreak in simulation exercises. So what happens to a world with such a dense populace when an aggressive infection takes root? World War Z.
Gerry (Brad Pitt) was an elite U.N. Investigator who got off the fast track to spend more time with his Wife (Mireille Enos) and Daughters (Abigail Hargrove and Sterling Jerins). But when cities begin to devolve into lawless chaos and people everywhere are attacking each other without provocation, his expertise becomes a valuable asset that quickly takes his family out of harm’s way. He, on the other hand, is asked to escort a scientist across the ocean to uncover the source of the epidemic. But every door reveals a brick wall and hope for mankind is quickly fading.
While World War Z is based on Max Brooks’ Novel of the same name, the Film has little in common with his oral history. One of the main reasons can likely be attributed to Hollywood’s inability to market such a bleak Story to a mass Audience. Therefore, the Movie borrows some key ideas from the Book and in a sense re-imagines history to make the tale its own. The result is sanitized, but surprisingly entertaining; especially considering the widely publicized production issues that included weeks of complex reshoots and rewrites.
The Zombies are fast and not terribly grotesque — or very hungry for that matter, since most of them appear to just bite and move on to the next victim. Still, there are some impressive CGI creations of hordes of the undead clamouring together to reach their prey. Meanwhile, the living characters spend much of their time hiding, running or aiming for the creatures’ heads. Nonetheless, they manage to squeeze in a relatively comprehensive narrative that spans the globe and captures viewers’ attention for the full two hours.
Pitt is comfortable in Gerry‘s skin. He never overreacts during stressful events, maintaining an understated intensity that implies he’s always reading the situation and is ready with an alternative course of action should the need arise. Daniella Kertesz (Segen) is his equal on all levels, matching his performance on screen and instilling her character with thoughtful precision. Though his role is small, Pierfrancesco Favino (W.H.O. Doctor) makes an impression as well.
As the conclusion demonstrates, this isn’t a hard-core Zombie Picture. But it’s passable by even those standards. And there’s always hope for a more faithful adaptation in the future.
Paramount Pictures releases World War Z on Friday, June 21, 2013.