Friday, June 21, 2013

World War Z Movie Review

Brad Pitt "to the rescue" in Marc Forster's World War Z

These Zombies Can Bite

Finally, a zombie movie I can sink my teeth into. Brad Pitt stars in Paramount Pictures' World War Z, a smart and steady apocalyptic movie that's sure to take a bite out of this weekend's box office wars. Word play aside, director Marc Forster does a wonderful job in painting as realistic a picture as you can with zombies as the main course (or vice versa... I can't seem to control myself.)

Rotten Tomatoes Plot: The story revolves around United Nations employee Gerry Lane (Pitt), who traverses the world in a race against time to stop a pandemic that is toppling armies and governments and threatening to decimate humanity itself.

What’s Best: It doesn't take long for World War Z to get going, and Pitt shines as the only real star in the movie. It's actually refreshing to have a blank canvas (in regards to recognizability) and Forster fills it with gripping scenarios and well-placed humor. Pitt plays it cool throughout... to the point where you actually don't see BRAD PITT, but rather a soft spoken hero that doesn't beg for the spotlight.

Lest you think World War Z is slow or boring... think again. Forster's zombies run like the wind and have no trouble gobbling up real estate (I promise, no more.) By the time you get to the W.H.O. HQs in Cardiff, Wales, there's even time to appreciate some hilarious teeth chattering (from a most unlikely source.) Without hitting his audience over the head with a hammer, Forster manages to keep its attention from start to finish.

What’s Not: Like it or not, Hollywood magic rears its ugly head every now & then, testing its audience with wide stretches of plausibility. A thrilling mid-air hijacking ends in impossible fashion... eclipsed only by an equally preposterous hike to their intended destination. I'll give it a pass though; since we're talking about the level of reality in a zombie movie. A Hannibal Lecter-like cameo by David Morse is laughably bad (did he say the entire population of North Korea took out all of their teeth to avoid spreading the virus? Now that's exerting influence.)

Best LineJames Badge Dale's Captain Speke steals the show with 'Looks like we just woke the dead,' which may become the ultimate "turn off your cellphone message." Speke manages to one-up himself earlier with an even funnier, 'They're biting everything, like fat kids on Twix.'

Overall: The potential for epic failure was there (delays, reshoots, $200+ million budget) but World War Z deserves to be in the discussion for this summer's top blockbuster. Pitt shines, and the movie wisely clocks in at just under two hours. I dug the locales, especially seldom seen Jerusalem... minus the jive Arab-Israeli peace angle thrown in at the last minute. Pitt's character observes, 'Movement is life.' World War Z never stops moving, and the result is one surprisingly fun and captivating film.