World War Z

I saw World War Z during its theatrical run, and in the two years that have past, I had forgotten that it was directed by Marc Forster. Yes, the same guy who directed Quantum of Solace. I watched World War Z on Blu-ray recently and thought, “I guess Forster must have been paroled from Director Jail.” It’s funny how people tend to remember the failures more than the successes. (George Lucas, anyone?) Martin Campbell still gets the crap kicked out of him over Green Lantern, while people forget that he directed the two of the best James Bond films of the last twenty years–GoldenEye, and Casino Royale.

One thing I didn’t forget about World War Z is how awesome it is. I am a fan of Shaun of the Dead, Zombieland, and the films of George A. Romero, but World War Z is my favorite zombie movie. These zombies aren’t walkers or roamers–they’re fast! Not Barry Allen fast, but if I was Usain Bolt, I’d lace up my Pumas extra tight.

World War Z takes just enough time to establish that Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) used to have a job that took him to dangerous places around the world, but now he would rather stay at home and make pancakes for his wife Karin, (Mireille Enos) and their two daughters. As Gerry and Karin are taking the kids to school, stuff starts blowing up. Why? I don’t know. It’s just one of those things that happens in these kind of movies. I’ve learned to just go with it.

The Lanes leave Philadelphia and head for Newark. Why? Umm . . . Plot? When they arrive, Newark has pretty much gone to hell. Then again, it could have been a random Wednesday. The supermarket there looked like a Walmart on Black Friday, when people are fighting over the last pair of size 42 jorts.

Just let it go, folks. It’s not worth it

Along the way to Newark, Gerry had been contacted by his former boss at the United Nations. It turns out that Gerry had been an investigator, and the UN wants hims to figure out how this whole zombie mess started.

The bad news for Gerry is that where ever he goes–trouble follows. Trouble that starts with “T,” which rhymes with “Z,” which stands for “zombie.” Unless of course you pronounce “Z” as “Zed,” in which case, I wasted a perfectly good musical interlude.

Each of Gerry’s destinations has its own zombie attack set piece. That’s not to say World War Z is episodic; it’s more like a video game. But in a good way.

It is well known that World War Z was beset with delays, script rewrites, and a third act reshoot. This is often a warning sign, but it’s better to catch these things early, than to deliver an inferior product. Far too often, they try to “fix it in the edit,” but that almost never works. My blog is living proof of that.


One thought on “World War Z

  1. I like your insights about the failures and successes of directors. Even a home-run king has many strikeouts. “I hit big or I miss big. I like to live as big as I can.” Babe Ruth

    What I liked about World War Z is it tries to be a real drama. It had video-game scenes, but overall it had a lot more gravitas. The Resident Evil movies are like a video game from beginning to end.

    I wrote a short essay on World War Z called “The Independent Thinker.” If you would like to read it, here is the link:

    I am open to any constructive feedback.


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