World War Z is a 2013 zombie flick based on the book written by Max Brooks. Marc Forster (Monster’s Ball, Quantum of Solace) directs and Brad Pitt stars as Gerry Lane, a former UN investigator who is called back into action to stop a zombie outbreak. These aren’t slow-moving Romero or Walking Dead zombies. These are 28 Days Later and 2003’s Dawn of the Dead zombies. They are fast and vicious, which leads to explosive action scenes. One zombie in the midst of a crowded area causes complete chaos. It’s almost impossible to escape. But Gerry Lane always finds a way to survive because he’s smart, calm under pressure, and he’s played by Brad Pitt and they need him for the sequel.
The basic plot is simple. There is a zombie pandemic and Gerry Lane must find the source in order to find a cure. He goes all over the world, from Philadelphia to Newark to South Korea to Jerusalem to Cardiff. It’s pretty easy to travel the world during the zombie apocalypse if you have UN connections apparently. He doesn’t find a cure but he finds a temporary solution, and the movie ends with a glimmer of hope for survivors around the globe.
World War Z made $540,007,876 at the box office, making it the highest-grossing zombie movie of all time. The filmmakers cited The Bourne Identity as an influence and you can see glimmers of it. The violence is gritty and realistic for the most part, despite using a lot of CG zombies that appear cartoonish at times. I never read the book so I can’t compare the two, but I enjoyed the movie. It was entertaining, had some good political points, and a lot of solid action scenes that keep you engaged. It’s a satisfying zombie movie, but it doesn’t bring anything original to the genre. You get infected if you get bit (unless you perform a quick amputation), the zombies die if you shoot them in the head, there are ways to make yourself invisible to the zombies, and the living are just as dangerous as the dead. Been there, done that.
Critically Rated at 13/17
Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young