What I loved about the movie World War Z is that it had absolutely no spoilers about the book in there. Zero. None. You can watch World War Z and nothing at all will be ruined about the book.
Not surprisingly, the movie has absolutely nothing to do with the book. Not a damn thing. There’s no reason for it to be called World War Z as the movie is incredibly good in its own right. By calling it World War Z, it invites comparisons with what is arguably one of the best books written over the past 15 years. I don’t know what the producers of this movie was thinking, as it didn’t have anything at all to do with the book. So keep that in mind with this review.
World War Z is one of the most intelligent zombie movies I’ve ever had the pleasure of watching. The plot was very simple. Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) retired from the UN to be a full time dad. He used to go into war zones throughout the world and investigate. The zombie outbreak hit his area when he and his family were out, stuck in the middle of traffic. That begins Lane’s adventure, his struggle to keep his family alive and to work on behalf of the UN to find a way to stop the zombie plague.
Rather than praise the movie and go over the plot point by point to explain why this movie is worth seeing, I’m going to talk a little bit about the small things I liked about this movie. One of the most impressive things that this movie does is work in the small details. Little things that makes this entire experience feel far more real.
Like when the zombie outbreak happened with the family inside the car…Constance Lane, his younger daughter, started to scream for her blanket. You see… I’m a father. I know when something goes wrong at my home and my daughter is afraid, she either goes for her stuffed animal or her blanket for comfort. It’s a natural reaction for kids to have: when they are afraid, they go for their comfort item. It didn’t push the story forward in some dramatic way. It made Constance feel more like my daughter, a child who was afraid and didn’t understand anything about what was going on. All conveyed through such a simplistic way.
Or when Gerry thought he was infected by one of the zombies because some of the zombie’s blood got into his mouth. Brad ran for the roof’s ledge and started counting. He knew it only took 12 seconds for a person to turn into a zombie… so he counted to 12. The director didn’t insult my intelligence by having Gerry’s wife or children commenting why their father/husband was counting. He just did it.
There were so many small details like those two that brought this entire experience to life.
Then there are complains that the movie doesn’t have blood in it. Zombie movies are famous for gore. So… what the hell? Where’s the blood, right? Zombie movies need blood because… because…. blood is cool. And blood = zombie horror… and stuff…. right?
Blood doesn’t make a good story nor a good zombie movie. Blood makes for a good gore-fest. World War Z was not about gore, but more about the struggle for survival. If there would have been the addition of blood, it would have taken away from the intensity of the scenes. We were left with lingering moments of terrified faces… fear, sorrow, regret.. a wish they could have had another second or two of life. Or the blood would have hid the faces of the zombies. They were frightening; humans that were no longer human. Devouring hordes. Blood would have distracted from what the director was going for. Blood worked in the remake of Dawn of the Dead, as the survivors weren’t around zombies for extended periods of time. The blood served as a constant reminder of the danger they were in.
I have nothing but praise for the movie. The acting was top notch. The soundtrack added to scenes without ever overwhelming it. I never once looked at the screen and thought “oh this is bullsh*t” like I do with most movies these days. World War Z was overall a very entertaining experience that I recommend to anyone.
Highly, high recommended.