Thursday, June 20, 2013

World War Z

Simple but Kinetic
by Reymundo Salao

In World War Z, the world has been plagued with a deadly and rabidly contagious virus and has put the world in an apocalyptic zombie state. While the remnants of the government and the military are picking up the pieces of civilization and trying to ensure their own survival, Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) has been chosen to be sent across the globe to find a cure for this zombie virus. World War Z, directed by Marc Forster, is based on the popular novel of the same name by Max Brooks. [full review after the jump]

I must admit that I am not familiar with the novel from which it is based on, so my opinions may not necessarily be similar to one who is familiar with the novel.

Simple and typical may be what I may describe this movie. World War Z is good enough not to fall on the classification of lousy or awful. At least it does not drag; the movie is engaging and never ever slows down to cause the slightest bit of boredom. At best, it feels like what I imagine would be a perfectly well-made zombie video game adaptation. I'm sure that the movie has some intellectual or subliminal message hidden in and around the movie, or whatever message the writers want to convey. Whatever it may be, we could not really notice that since the pace of the film is fast and hyperactive. But at least it's never chaotic and messy.

On the horror aspect, it effectively does generate some screams and shouts. The scares are moderately efficient, and the zombies do indeed manage to be horrifying, even though they did not need to be extra disgusting and/or gory.

Although this may be considered as a zombie movie, it never crosses beyond its PG-13 rating. Meaning, it does not have the usual gore and violence other zombies have. Whatever violence the movie has is never focused or highlighted. It's a horror movie that may be considered "pretty safe" for a younger audience. 

The problem with World War Z is that it's blown its wad by showing some of the best money shots of the movie on its trailer. The flooding stampede of zombies is the film's most impressive and unique eye candy. We've already seen fast zombies, we've also already seen extra-strong zombies (in "I Am Legend" they're not exactly zombies, but they have similarities with the zombies in this movie), but we've never seen them like this, the way World War Z presents them. On one point of view, it's refreshingly unique, on another point of view; it's a childish, over-bloated exaggeration of the concept.

But the flooding, stampeding zombies; that's the movie's one ace card. Aside from that, the movie is pretty simple horror suspense. What happens in the end is not your typical summer blockbuster climax scene; there's nothing extraordinary, like a big boss fight of some kind. With the way it was executed in the end, it felt like an indie horror movie.

But just because it has a quiet ending, it does not mean that it was a bad movie. The ending is consistent and fluid. It's not something impossible, incredible, explosive, or cartoonish. It's simple, and it makes sense that way in a manner consistent with the movie's tone. Overall, World War Z is a moderately good zombie movie; entertaining enough to be worth your money and time. But you will not be missing out on anything if you happen to skip it.

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