Anyone who knows me is more than aware that I have been so keen for this movie. I have rattled on and on about it for many months. Read the book ….. then worried about the book to screen adaptation ….. worried about the trailers I saw….. reminded myself its the zombie genre I love ….. got over myself and returned to being super excited about the movie.
Today is the day. YAY!!
So 3D glasses in hand…. yeah, yeah I know….. I waited for the movie to begin.
Basically, the movie centres on Gerry (Pitt) who is an ex UN investigator brought back into the fold when a sudden and devastating ‘rabies’ outbreak sweeps the world. But it’s not rabies, it’s zombies. Gerry, his wife Karin (Enos) and their family have already fled for their lives, barely managing to get safely aboard a hastily arranged military flotilla. It is here that Gerry is issued an ultimatum….. help them find patient zero or get kicked off the ship.
So off he goes with a crack team of sniper types to find patient zero and thus, hopefully, a cure. But things quickly go awry and Gerry finds himself fighting off not only zombies but a few near death experiences to boot. He follows leads from South Korea to Jerusalem to Wales.
First of all, I had been warned the movie was nothing like the book. And they are right. Although there are references and touchstones throughout the movie to the novel, the movie is not the book. I don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing………yet.
World War Z is much less drama than I was expecting. The trailer indicates more a family man fighting to save his loved ones than one man fighting to save humanity. Although Gerry does have help in his quest, it really is his story of putting the jigsaw pieces together in an attempt to solve the mystery of what is causing people to turn into the zombies.
And the zombies. WOW!!
They are fast-moving and lethal. They can turn someone in as little as 10 seconds so you can imagine the frightening speed at which the living dead are taking over the world. The scene in the picture above is in the trailer and is a pivotal moment in the movie, showing that there is no wall, no city, no power that can keep the zombies at bay for very long. Their desire for human flesh is all-encompassing and they stop at nothing to get it.
There is no gruesome zombie killing here so for those hoping for some The Walking Dead type brutality, this is not the movie for you. Actually, considering the subject matter, there is very little bloodshed. The horror is more implied….. that ‘ in the shadows ‘ type of imagery that leaves a lot to your imagination. The zombies are still pretty gruesome but they are so fast-moving that you only get fleeting glances. The real impact is in the speed and the sheer volume of zombies that come after their victim or victims mercilessly.
Then there is the suspense. At one point during the movie, the entire cinema was literally holding their breath and as the minutes ticked by, the tension became almost unbearable. When it broke, there was an audible sigh and more than a few nervous laughs as we all realised that we had been holding our breath.
And it is the suspense that, in my opinion, makes the movie. Well it kinda saves it. The story is a little on the light side and the scrapes just a little too unbelievable but the reality is I was watching a zombie movie so who am I to judge reality.
Overall, I really enjoyed this movie. A lot. As excited as I was to finally be seeing it …… it was originally slated for a 2012 release ….. I was prepared to be let down and come slinking back to write a review full of disappointment. But that’s not the case at all. It is a thriller worthy of a place in zombie lore and anyone who loves a good zombie flick should like this one.
Thank you to Reading Cinemas Charlestown for their invite and hospitality at last nights preview screening.
Starring : Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, Daniella Kertesz, James Badge Dale, Ludi Boeken, Matthew Fox, Fana Mokoena, David Morse
Running Time : 116 minutes
Release Date : June 20