World War Z also known as “World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War WWZ,” “WWZ”
Reviewed by: Thaisha Geiger
Sci-Fi Action Adventure War Zombie Horror Drama Adaptation
1 hr. 50 min.
Year of Release:
June 21, 2013 (wide—3,500+ theaters)
DVD: September 17, 2013
It’s been a long time since an action movie has held me in suspense. I am usually quite analytical, but WWZ kept me interested. Brad Pitt plays his part rather well, and the film remains rather bloodless. Whether or not, you’d like this movie depends on if you’re a fan of zombie movies.
Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) is a former United Nations worker who is summoned back to duty to help the government research a zombie pandemic that is shutting down the world’s countries. That is about all there is to the plot, any more might reveal spoilers.
There is a galore of CGI effects and shaky camera chases. This might bother some, but I’m unsure how else they would have shown thousands of zombies running amok, ruthlessly attacking a city, and piling over themselves to climb up a wall. The harsh jerks of the camera help keep the film at a PG-13 rating, since hardly any blood is shown and several direct impacts of violence occur off screen.
I saw the film with a friend who’s a huge fan of zombie movies, and she said that the lack of blood and gore takes away from the authenticity. On the other side of the spectrum, I usually prefer to avoid movies with heavy amounts of violence and felt the movie did well in this aspect.
Though mostly bloodless, there is plenty of violence, so this movie should definitely not be seen by younger children. Zombies invade by the thousands, tackling people down and biting their victims” arms and necks. This happens in several scenes throughout the movie. Some up-close shots are shown of the bitten people painfully contorting while they contract the mysterious virus. Zombies go through windshields and are shot and bombed by the military.
Some of the infected people commit suicide before the illness takes over. One shoots himself in the head (off screen), and another detonates a grenade after he is bitten on the neck. To save a life, Gerry quickly cuts off a woman’s hand after she is bitten. This happens very quickly. A man accidentally falls on a gun and shoots himself. A police officer gets hit by a truck. Gerry gets impaled with metal; the wound is shown protruding from his back.
The cursing is quite heavy, with about 21 uses: 5 GDs, 5 sh_t, 4 b_stard, 3 b_tch, 3 as_, and at least one use of b_tch. I would say that several of these were said in anticlimactic scenes and made them feel unnecessary.
The characters are a bit one dimensional, but I enjoyed the fact of how Gerry calls his family daily and has a loving relationship with his wife. I would say my favorite part of the film is how they unquestionably adopt an orphan into their family.
Still, there are some quirks. Those looking for a deep movie will likely dislike WWZ. There are some huge plot holes and some “Duh” moments. The social commentary is quite vague and underdeveloped. There were some inquiry into Jerusalem’s past, but this was quickly overshadowed by more zombies. The plot is quite thin and sometimes cringe-inducing. From so-called experts riding squeaky bicycles in the complete darkness to people making careless noises by simply not looking on what they’re stepping on.
The movie changes tone several times and slows down in others. This made some quite tense scenes with a good amount of scares. This also helped stop the movie from becoming a loud, brainless drivel. If you like zombie movies with little social commentary, then you might like “World War Z.” However, I don’t personally recommend the film.
Violence: Heavy to extreme / Profanity: Heavy / Sex/Nudity: Minor
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.
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