World War Z


With Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, Daniella Kertesz, Ludi Boeken, James Badge Dale, Fana Mokoena

Written by Matthew Michael Carnahan, Drew Goddard, Damon Lindelof, J. Michael Straczynski (based on the book by Max Brooks)

Directed by Marc Forster

The zombie movie has come a long way since Bela Lugosi and George A. Romero. Even though he doesn't see it as a zombie film, Danny Boyle's 28 Days Later took the genre into a whole new direction (not to mention the highly popular Walking Dead series). In many ways the pretty radical and shocking idea of the rotting dead rising to feed on human flesh has become socially acceptable. I'm sure kids' zombie parties are as becoming as commonplace as pirate themes (the murder, raping and pillaging stripped from the pirate's code making it fun, and as pint-sized undead, eating jellies as substitute for human flesh...!).
Which brings us to World War Z. Here it is similar to Boyle's take – as a pandemic outbreak that needs to be contained (once the race for survival has lead to many bloody casualties and tipping balance of the zombie-human ratio, of course). When this unexpected infection spreads across the globe, it turns its victims into vicious, blood thirsty zombies that storm in overwhelming hordes. An ex-UN operative is called in to assist in trying to track down its origin (forced into this unwanted task with the veiled threat of not being able to allow his family refuge on a special ocean vessel). This takes him around the globe from one disastrous situation to the next - Korea, Israel, the UK. This unstoppable outbreak looks set to envelop the planet.

I never got to read Brooks' book, but a friend who did the audio book hardly recognized anything when I gave him a quick synopsis of the movie... But that's how it goes in bringing a story from paper to screen - artistic, financial considerations and keeping an audience's attention with enough excitement, action and drama to justify paying Pitt's fee...

I found this to be a very effective blend of drama and zombie action, with some scenes extremely tense and other fright tactics actually having my viewing partner scream out loud(!) Hardcore zombie fans may want a bit more gore, but there was a deliberate decision on the production's part not to have rivers of blood (in fact eliminating red altogether). Pitt was a good choice for the hero in whose hands lie the hope of human survival.

As is so often the case, there was no reason to release this movie in 3D (except to make some extra money from the increased ticket price). A few scenes make it effective, but as always, it merely adds a little perspective and nothing more.

5 / B
- Paul Blom

1 2 3 4 5 6
- B
- C

Some more zombie flicks:

Romero's Living Dead movies

The Return Of The Living Dead Trilogy

The Living Dead Re-Makes

28 Days & -Weeks Later

28 Weeks Later

The Resident Evil movies

Resident Evil Afterlife Resident Evil Extinction

Australia's Undead

World Of The Dead 2
World Of The Dead 2

never let a review decide for you, but for those who need a rating, see the Flamedrop scale below
6 - Volcanic
5 - Blistering
4 - Hot
3 - Smolder
2 - Room Temperature
1 - Fizzled
0 - Extinguished

A: Multi-Viewing Potential

B: Could Enjoy A 2nd Look

C: Once Should Suffice

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