BY ANGELA WATERCUTTER
World War Z would be better if it weren’t a zombie movie.
That’s not to say there shouldn’t be legions of infected undead swarming all over the place, because those things actually are pretty awesome. But when something markets itself as a “zombie movie,” it inevitably takes on certain baggage. Zombies — and the movies, TV shows, and comics about them — have a rich history and certain tropes that demand to be acknowledged. If they’re not, it’s hard to get past the cognitive dissonance created by a movie, no matter how enjoyable it might be, that isn’t what it’s billed as. It’s as if a scrawny, insecure Thor appeared in an Avengers flick. It might be an interesting story or character study, but that dude wouldn’t be a truly Asgardian superhero.
Similarly, if you’re a fan of gory zombie action and you’re going to this PG-13 flick looking for your bloody fix of gore, you might leave wanting.
Of course, changing up the zombie game is exactly what director Marc Forster (Monster’s Ball) and his fellow filmmakers set out to do. During a recent screening of World War Z in San Francisco, the movie’s star and producer Brad Pitt introduced the film by saying, “If you think you’re just about to see another zombie film, you’re in for a bit of a shock. … This thing is big, it’s like nothing you’ve seen before.”
World War Z in the text below.)
The movie, a fast-paced race by one man to stop a total zombie apocalypse, isn’t like a lot of zombie fare, which tends to focus on a small group of people fighting the undead in rural (or at least abandoned) surroundings.
Before we go any further, though, a quick primer: World War Z — loosely based on the book by Max (son of Mel) Brooks — is an enjoyable action movie in which former United Nations investigator Gerry Lane, played by Pitt, finds himself, his wife and two young daughters in the midst of a worldwide undead epidemic. The family escapes with help from Lane’s U.N. connections, but by calling in that favor he is asked to trace the source of the disease and stop it. He goes from South Korea, scene of one of the first reported cases, to Jerusalem, which has built a wall to keep the undead out, and ultimately to a World Health Organization facility.
World War Z as intelligent as it is shocking.
That said, it could use a little more feeling and character development, but, hey, you can only tell so much story in a couple hours.
World War Z is that zombie movies require a certain amount of weirdness or subversiveness to succeed. Turning a zombie pandemic into a generic disaster movie robs the zombies of their dirty, nasty edginess and robs the disaster of its epic scope.”
Bingo. But what if World War Z didn’t call itself a zombie movie?
World War Z‘s zombies run, and fast. They also swarm in huge packs. Although this is on-trend right now (see also: 28 Days Later, I Am Legend), having fast zombies in a film largely devoid of other zombie tropes just puts things even further off message. There are detailed and widely accepted reasons why zombies are slow – that whole rotting bodies thing, for one, and the fact that re-animated corpses would not have high-functioning motor skills. This, of course, was expertly chronicled in in George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead when Sheriff McClelland, asked by a reporter if the undead are moving slow, replied, “Yeah, they’re dead.”
World War Z offers a fair explanation for its swift zombies: the running dead are in the first phase of the outbreak and haven’t had as much time to decompose as, say, they walkers in the barn in The Walking Dead. They’ve still got a bit of their human facilities and all they want is to bite again. “If you got bitten right now you’re still healthy, so you could run,” the movie’s visual effect supervisor Scott Farrar explained to Wired. “So this idea of just stumbling around didn’t make any sense.”
World War Z don’t behave much like their forbears.
World War Z, a bestseller beloved by fans, is an oral history of how what’s left of Earth’s population survived the zombie invasion. While certain themes from the book, like how political and class issues play into the apocalypse and how zombie-ism is diagnosed, are evident in the film, it’s largely divergent from its source material. And that’s something that’s not going to sit well with Brooks’ hardcore fans.
In the intro to his book Brooks writes, “zombie remains a loaded word, a devastating word, unrivaled in its power to conjure up so many memories or emotions.” In context, he’s talking about the use of the world in a post-apocalyptic sense — saying “zombie” reminds people of the Dark Years. But it remains a loaded word in pop culture too. It reminds people of Romero and gruesome horror films, both of which are not part of World War Z but have a place in the hearts of fans of the genre. Not that other films haven’t broken from tradition to success. Zombieland had fairly fast-moving critters and Warm Bodies turned at least one walker into Romeo and then found him “cured” by love, but those were comedies and thus didn’t take themselves too seriously. Making a big action flick with Brad Pitt at the helm and calling it World War Z promises, intentionally or not, some points on which the film does not deliver. That will leave people disappointed.
source: read more at http://www.wired.com/underwire/2013/06/world-war-z-review-zombies/2/