June 27, 2013
Guy’s Guide to Zombie Movies: World War Z
For fans of Max Brooks’ haunting zombie novel World War Z, this film may miss the mark of a true adaptation. Brad Pitt’s globetrotting thriller sets him against an unstoppable wave of fast (yes fast) zombies. In a way, the first half of the film feels like the novel on fast forward, with whole complex situations and the emotional conflicts of the “The Great Panic” squished into mere minutes of film. The movie has some really great sequences that build up an almost palpable tension. Other moments fall so flat on their face that the audience is laughing at a scene clearly intended to be terrifying.
Brook’s himself claimed that the only connection between his book and this movie is the title, yet small cameos are present, highlighting both locales and characters from the book. Perhaps a true film adaptation was impossible, and maybe a high quality mini-series would have better served the purposes of capturing the slow tension and emotionally taxing nature of the novel. Maybe we will never know. But this film really finds itself firmly under the banner of “just another zombie movie,.” The scale may be greater and the monsters faster, but all of the really compelling stuff seems lacking. There is very little humanity shown, so we don’t experience the classic moments of survivalist dilemmas or painful executions.
To round it up: I was entertained. It was well shot and did not have any distractingly large plot holes. It was a good zombie movie. Just not the one we were waiting for.