Fans of zombies rejoice: Word War Z is here, based on the book with the same name. These aren’t the rather slowish zombies seen in The Walking Dead, instead they orally tackle – there’s no clearer way to say it – their prey. Director Marc Forster takes us on a roller coaster ride through an aggressive and immediate viral zombie outbreak, borrowing some elements from 28 Days Later in the process.
Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) and his family are caught in a traffic jam in the midst of, what turns about to be, a viral zombie outbreak. We are drawn into the movie immediately as we follow him, his wife and his children attempting to survive and hectically escape to safer grounds. We also learn that it takes only a very short period of time for a healthy person to turn into a flesh-seeking cannibal, an effective means of evoking a sense of urgency that echoes throughout the movie. We learn that Gerry is a well-connected UN investigator and that he can play a pivotal role in countering the outbreak. His journey to find a cure takes him to various remote places. World War Z’s has its greatest moments when unexpected events occur from Gerry’s vantage point, during escape or travel from one location to the next.
Despite some rather contrived scenes taking place in Israël, the weakest point in the movie’s narrative, World War Z is an excellent summer blockbuster. Taking the point of view of the survival of a small group of characters – Gerry and his family – effectively creates a sense of engagement with the events that unfold world-wide, not unlike that seen in Cloverfield and Independence Day. World War Z is recommended, even if you don’t particularly like zombie flicks.
Copyright © 2013 Skydance Productions / Plan B Entertainment