Film Review: World War Z

WORLD WAR Z

World War Z offers carnage on a large scale. While it certainly looks the part, unfortunately the narrative does not live up to the spectacle.

Former United Nations employee Gerry Lane lives with his young family in  the United States. When a global pandemic hits, the cause appears to be zombies. Gerry travels across the world to try and stop the destruction of the human race…

World War Z is a zombie film, but it is not really a horror film. It is more of a disaster movie, with the cause of the apocalypse (or near-apocalypse) being zombies. World War Z mirrors other disaster films with its large-scale catastrophes and reluctant hero.

The film eschews the collective style of its source material, Max Brooks’ novel of the same name, choosing instead to concentrate on a single protagonist. It is unclear what qualifies Gerry Lane to be the UN’s number one guy for a pandemic such as this, other than the fact that he used to work for the organisation. In drawing Gerry as a family man who takes on an enormous task to ultimately protect his loved ones, it is clear that the filmmakers are trying to paint the protagonist as a relatable hero. Unfortunately however, concentrating on this character reduces the story into a one-man-saving-the-world narrative rather than anything more interesting or complex than this.

The premise is an engaging one to begin with. Nevertheless, as the film progresses, the narrative fails to offer anything more than grand set pieces with little for audiences to get their teeth into in between. World War Z really stumbles in its final third. The ending is a nice tense scene, but really anticlimactic considering what has come before.

Brad Pitt offers a good performance as Gerry. Gore in the film, considering the antagonists are zombies, is restrained. Given the 12A rating, this is not wholly surprising. Special effects are decent though.

World War Z could have delved into the some of the themes of the novel, but chooses instead to concentrate on emulating an epic disaster blockbuster. It is a poorer film for this.

Stuff to Look At

A catch up of all the trailers you may have missed for the Easter weekend…

The Big Wedding

Robert De Niro heads an all star cast in comedy The Big Wedding. I wish Robert De Niro was still making films with Martin Scorsese, but there you go. The film also stars Susan Sarandon, Diane Keaton, and Katherine Heigl, who surely cemented this role in her pact with the devil. The Big Wedding is released in UK cinemas on 29th May 2013.

Oblivion

Above is a featurette on upcoming movie Oblivion. Starring Tom Cruise, Olga Kurylenko and Melissa Leo, Oblivion is a future-set science fiction film from the director of Tron: Legacy. Oblivion is out in cinemas on 10th April 2013.

Star Trek Into Darkness

Star Trek Into Darkness looks very promising. J.J. Abrams’ 2009 update of Star Trek was a great sci-fi action romp, and Into Darkness seems to be following the same path. Starring Chris Pine, Zoe Saldana, Zachary Quinto and Benedict Cumberbatch, Star Trek Into Darkness hits UK screens on 9th May 2013.

World War Z

Brad Pitt stars in apocalyptic extravaganza World War Z. Based on the novel by Max Brooks, Pitt stars as Gerry Lane, a UN employee trying to ascertain the cause of a pandemic which is threatening the world. World War Z is released in UK cinemas on 21st June 2013.

Despicable Me 2

Gru is back! But perhaps more importantly, Agnes is back! From the above trailer, Despicable Me 2 appears to have a sound plot. It also features a host of talent, including Steve Carell, Al Pacino, Kristen Wiig and Steve Coogan. Despicable Me 2 is due for release on 28th June 2013.

Kick-Ass 2

Hit Girl is now a fully-fledged teen! Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Chloe Moretz return for Kick Ass 2. The sequel, which also stars Jim Carrey, is released on UK screens on 19th July 2013.