World War Z (d. Marc Forster USA/Malta 2013)

World War Z (d. Marc Forster USA/Malta 2013)

Please read ‘On Reviews‘ for a guide to how I write film reviews.

 

World War Z is yet another film to cash in on the recent zombie craze. The film uses CGI to give these running zombies (is sick) more of a clumsy swarm like quality.  This being an un-brutal way of making them fanatic and helpless to their only calling. This blockbuster has also been subjected to another way in which cinema has attempted a larger income. Apparently, $50 tickets exist for this film. It offers a new level of extortion. But this just goes to show the faith they had in such a high budget production. Expect CGI, explosions and lots of screen time with an A-List celebrity. But anyway the film itself…

 

The use of CGI in this film, definitely gives a new look to the zombie. In this film, similar to recent video games, the zombies run and fall in a clumsy mess of mass hysteria. Sometimes it’s as if there is no individuality, they just flow. This look complicates the realism of the film – due to looking like they’re straight from a video game. They look well done, but not real. Similar to all CGI films, it is likely that these zombies will be a stylistic gimmick, ruining the film in years to come. The speed of the zombies however, helps redefine the zombie genre. Whereas the classic Zombies, of films like Dawn of the Dead (d. George A. Romero USA 1978) and Re-animator (d. Stuart Gordon USA 1985), were horrifying creatures of gore, these are not. There is ridiculously little gore. Most injuries are sustained accidently or by other characters. In fact, the speed of these zombies and their lack of gore, make them the thing of action films. They are the endless hordes from films like: Starship Troopers (d. Paul Verhoeven USA 1997) or Aliens (d. James Cameron USA/UK 1986). It’s interesting what the Zombies have become in this film and a comparison between the genres of horror and action, with regard to zombies would be worthwhile here. However, simply put for now: you are not terrified you are exhilarated.

 

Of course, I shall try not to give away any spoilers, but a way in which this film fails is its narrative. A film will, typically, have a beginning middle and end. If it is a part of a series, it will still end with a climax. This film just stops. It is obviously intended to be a part of a series, but there is no climax. The resolution of a scene is given like many of the scenes before it, but this time the end is slapped onto the screen. With a half arsed, summing up. I will say, the script wasn’t always what it wanted to be – being at times ridiculous, cheap, cheesy, and finally dull. Otherwise the film gives a nice narrative, it draws you in but it just doesn’t go anywhere.

 

In the beginning there is a man, a family man. But his family features less in the film than they should. They aren’t characters. Also, there was genuinely a moment in which the family causes troubles for the protagonist and this could easily be taken as a criticism of having family. I would not say that this was part of the films intentions. The family is used as a means to give tension to the moment and this, other than their introduction, is their biggest function in the film. Their danger should give more for the protagonist to fight for – but doesn’t. He cares, he really does. But we do not. It is thrown in for extra danger and is pointless. Perhaps, it is because of a lack of connection between the narrative of the protagonist and the narrative of his wife. I can only speculate.

 

In conclusion, I will actually say I recommend this film. It is entertaining. It tries to develop a genre (Zombie films). But, unfortunately I doubt it’ll be memorable. In much the same way as Looper (d. Rian Johnson USA/China 2012). This film has some good action sequences, some powerful moments and good performances. Too bad about the script (and running zombies!) This is an entertaining watch all the while, but I have to leave you with a famous quote from Simon Pegg: “Death is not an energy drink.”

 

Further Reading

World War Z Official Site

rottentomatoes.com

Marc Forster Interview

Marc Forster Interview 2

Too different from the Book?

Brad Pitt Fan

Hollywood’s Fear of the Horde



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