Over the last year we have heard quite a bit about the supposed troubled production of the film “World War Z”. Apparently the last third of the film had to be scrapped in favour of a different ending which caused the budget to swell to almost 200 million. That would mean that this is the most expensive zombie film ever, which is a huge gamble. The result is a wildly uneven film.
The story involves a global outbreak of zombies. Instead of being presented as a straight forward horror movie, director Marc Forster and his team have crafted more of a global, medical thriller.
Brad Pitt plays Gerry, a former UN investigator, is recruited to find out what started this pandemic. When we first meet him he is stuck in traffic with his wife and kids when the outbreak occurs, resulting in mass mayhem. Once Gerry has gotten his family to safety aboard a Naval ship, he is dispatched across the globe to discover where this might of started and also to hopefully find a cure.
So what sets this movie apart from other zombie thrillers is that it is PG-13. We get little to not flesh eating or gore of any kind. The zombies are seen in flashes or as CGI hordes. I did appreciate the suspense build up when the zombies are off screen but I did feel kind of cheated that the subject matter was watered down to reach a wider audience.
The last act of the movie follows the more traditional zombie movie when the heroes are confined to a building full of zombies and must quietly make their way out.
I did like the scenes where the zombies grouped together in to a kind of ant hill as they attempted to climb over massive walls. I also could not deny the impact of seeing large scale attacks on the population as they are depicted in this film. Every scene is played as if this could actually happen in the real world.
As a summer pop corn movie, “World War Z” delivers. If you enjoyed movies like “Dawn Of The Dead” or “Shaun of The Dead” you may be disappointed. I kind of landed some where in the middle. It is directed with skill, the plot moves along quickly and the performances were effective. I just didn’t get a lasting impression.
The one moment from this movie I will never forget has nothing to do with the story at all. It has to do with one of the funniest product placements I have ever seen. While fleeing a group of the undead, Gerry stops at a Pepsi machine to enjoy a refreshing beverage. How and why I will leave up to you to find out. I just laughed rather loudly at the site of Brad Pitt sucking down soda as if he hadn’t had one in years.