OVERALL GRADE: B
AUDIENCE: No one under 12
BIG or SMALL SCREEN: Big
RATED: PG-13 for intense frightening zombie sequences, violence and disturbing images.
"Most people don't believe something can happen until it already has. That's not stupidity or weakness, that's just human nature."
Hollywood and zombie fiends alike were of the same mindset when it came to 'World War Z'. After countless reshoots, additional millions of dollars spent, and screenwriter after screenwriter, many did not believe that another film about fighting the undead could survive its own 'apocalypse'. Fortunately for Brad Pitt and Paramount Pictures, 'World War Z' manages to discover a silver lining amidst all of the turmoil.
This latest flick about the rise of the supposedly undead starts off as a normal day in Gerry Lane's (Pitt, with his ridiculously long locks) life, cooking breakfast for his wife and kids. A local newscast airs on a nearby television, vaguely warning the audience that something is seriously wrong in our world. However, the Lane family is more concerned with getting the young ones to school on time. It is here where the first glimpse of the zombie attack appears; one that all fans of the film have seen in the epic, but not-too-revealing preview. And suddenly, exactly like it is portrayed in the trailer, all hell begins to break loose.
Pitt is nothing special, playing a stereotypical dad who insists a little too often on protecting his family. Yet, he is convincing when it comes to finding a 'distraction' for the undead, but not until he is assisted by a female soldier, Segen (the lovely Daniella Kertesz), whom Lane first encounters in Jerusalem. It is the teamwork between these two that adds a necessary source of hope back into the film.
Major props go out to director Marc Forster and screenwriter Damon Lindelof. Forster does an excellent job of giving his audience enough zombie screen-time without going overboard, as well as placing the element of surprise in unexpected places. The aerial shot of the thousands of undead bodies climbing the wall surrounding Jerusalem is outstanding, as is the plane crash scene. Lindelof also deserves a pat on the back; if not for him, the ending would have been nowhere near as satisfying. While Pitt's financial aid was not without gratitude, Forster and Lindelof were the film's true saving grace.
Despite being plagued by every obstacle known to man, 'World War Z' defies the odds, taking the audience for a ride worthy of the entrance fee. With a pre-planned trilogy on the way, this newfound franchise is likely to stick around longer than the current fascination with zombies in popular culture.
'World War Z' Trailer:
Want another review? Check out the phenomenal Peter Travers of Rolling Stone