World War Z (2013)

World War ZHaving left his position at the United Nations to focus on his family — wife Karin (Mireille Enos), and daughters Rachel (Abigail Hargrove) and Constance (Sterling Jerins) — Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) is half-way through his morning routine when a viral outbreak hits Philadelphia and forces all four into hiding. Although rescued by the UN Deputy Secretary-General, Gerry is told that he must earn his family’s berth on the US Navy vessel housing the survivors, and is sent to South Korea to investigate the source of the virus. But is the threat zombie in nature, as the South Koreans are suggesting?

Plagued by problems throughout production, necessitating reshoots, rewrites and further reshoots, World War Z suffered a number of set-backs and delays which ultimately forced Paramount to abandon their plans for a December, 2012 release. The entire third act, including an extensive (and expensive) finale set in Moscow, was discarded in favour of a smaller denouement based at a World Health Organization facility in Wales, to be penned by Prometheus writer Damon Lindelof. It was difficult to muster much excitement when the film eventually limped into cinemas last month.

Surprisingly, the tumultuous production period has left precious few scars on the finished film — a high-octane, globe-trotting, city-leveling adventure yarn. The Welsh segment does feel a lot more contained than the relatively bombastic opening acts, but it is not a particularly jarring transition — at least no more so than the earlier jump from late night South Korea to sunny (and stunning) Jerusalem. If anything the climax feels like an homage to the larger zombie genre, which is something that can hardly be said for the multi-million dollar explosions and CGI-heavy set pieces that came before.

Brad Pitt — making his belated return to the action-adventure genre after a five year stretch of lower profile and less physically demanding work — is immediately believable as the U.N.’s resident action hero. The earlier, domestic scenes are nicely done, with Pitt building an easy rapport with Enos’ British ex-pat despite the lack of attention it receives from the script. The film also stars James Badge Dale as Army Ranger Captain Speke, Daniella Kertesz as an Israeli soldier and Peter Capaldi as an unnamed WHO doctor, and each provides able support as Pitt embarks on his travels.

While fans of Max Brooks’ source novel of the same name may be disappointed by the film’s divergent plot, Marc Forster has nevertheless produced a film that entertains in its own right. Exciting, gripping and visually stunning, World War Z transcends the zombie genre, working equally well as a more traditional disaster movie.

4-Stars

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About popcornaddiction
I am a psychology graduate, a News Writer for HeyUGuys/BestforFilm and, most importantly, a hopeless popcorn addict.

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