World War Z Review


Understandable, it was hard to get excited about this movie.  Between all the pre- and post-production woes this movie has faced, the multiple last minute script rewrites, and the general trend of terrible summer blockbusters, World War Z was sure to be another in a long line of disappointments.  Imagine my surprise as it proved to be not only a perfectly competent and well-plotted film, but also one of the better films I’ve seen all year (take this with a grain of salt, as this speaks more to how terrible everything else has been this year than how good World War Z is).  Though World War Z has its weaker moments, mostly issues of plot and quality of acting, it is in many ways a fantastic summer blockbuster, and a very pleasant surprise.

Gerry (Brad Pitt) recently quit his somewhat hazardous job as a UN investigator to spend more time with his wife and two daughters.  However, Gerry is forced to flee New York with his family after witnessing the zombie apocalypse first hand.  After agreeing to help escort a scientist to Korea in hopes of finding a cure, Gerry is sent on a journey across the globe to investigate the widespread effects of the zombie outbreak.

World War Z is based on a Max Brooks novel of the same name, and while I haven’t read the book, it is essentially a compilation of short stories from survivors of the zombie apocalypse. The film is not a straight adaptation of the book, in order to deal with the fact that the novel does not have a narrative through-line; World War Z is a kind of adventure story putting one central character in a number of situations contained within the novel.  It sort of makes the movie a compelling story about globetrotting in order to figure some kind of solution out to the zombie epidemic.  It also adds an interesting element of global politics to the story as Gerry sees different nations handling the outbreak in different ways.

Even with its issues, the film still ranks among one of the best of the summer and is a very competent piece of zombie fiction.  Though perhaps not as memorable as some of the more “purist” zombie flicks, it’s certainly not plagued by the same gaping plot holes as many of the movies this summer; for that characteristic alone, it definitely merits a recommendation.

Rating: 4 out of 5


Poster courtesy of Chris Garofalo.

10 thoughts on “World War Z Review

  1. jumbledwriter June 28, 2013 / 12:20 am

    Hmm. I am not a zombie fan, but I may have to check this one out. Thanks for the review!

    • Andrew King June 28, 2013 / 3:35 am

      I would still say it is worth a shot, it is a really good summer blockbuster and is more of a thriller than zombie horror.

  2. Adam Brannon June 28, 2013 / 1:27 am

    I completely agree with your review, I awarded a similar rating on my blog. It was 100% better than I thought it was going to be!

    • Andrew King June 28, 2013 / 3:34 am

      Yeah, a real surprise. Definitely the surprise of the summer so far.

  3. keith7198 June 28, 2013 / 1:31 am

    Nice review. Mine went up a few days ago and we share many of the same thoughts. Very pleasant surprise. I had a lot of fun with it.

    • Andrew King June 28, 2013 / 3:32 am

      I can only hope that it isn’t the only movie this summer that looks terrible but turns out to be solid.

  4. gemmahawkins June 28, 2013 / 7:36 am

    I have completely opposite feelings, haha. I saw the trailers and I was excited to see the movie, but then when I got in there I was just really disappointed. Interesting to read an opposite point of view though!

    • Andrew King June 28, 2013 / 12:05 pm

      I would be curious to know why you didn’t like it. After talking to a few people, I know a lot of people took issue with the ending, but considering it was an adaptation of what is essentially a group of short stories, I thought it worked fine. Anyways, thanks for the comment, it is always much appreciated.

      • gemmahawkins July 1, 2013 / 2:44 am

        I think the main issue for me were the zombies. I’m really not a fan of CG in films that are meant to be scary in any way, it’s hard to feel threatened by CG creatures. Another issue for me was Brad Pitt’s character and his family, I didn’t really feel any connection to them. So for me there was nothing to kind of hang my feelings on, I didn’t really care whether they got back together or not. But hey ho, different strokes!

  5. wattsatthemovies July 1, 2013 / 6:27 pm

    Great review! I also very much enjoyed the film pretty much in the same ways as you, though there are some improbabilities throughout, the tension and momentum is well built to keep you on the edge of your seat, the pulsing tone of the score helped a lot in creating that feeling. I’m actually looking forward to the sequel!

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