Horror Movie Review: World War Z (2013)


Former UN employee Gerry Lane (played by Brad Pitt), his wife & 2 daughters are the perfect family. This is quickly established in the first 10 minutes at the breakfast table while the news reports on ‘shenanigans’ taking place in some cities involving violent people.

See where this is going?

While sitting in traffic the city is attacked by zombies forcing Gerry & family to flee. The take refugee in an apartment block before being rescued by Gerry’s old pal in the UN who sends a helicopter. They are flown to an US navy-vessel in the sea where they find out that the outbreak is world-wide virus & finding a cure depends on finding the origin. Gerry agrees to help once it is pointed out that his family will be removed from the vessel if he isn’t on the employee list.

Gerry, the one-man hero, sets about travelling to certain parts of the globe to find the source of the zombie outbreak & hopefully the cure.

World War Z is part of a planned trilogy….

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I went out of my way to avoid seeing World War Z in the cinema as I was determined to not pay Brad Pitt a single penny for taking what I love & shiting all over it. Sure you can say that I can’t really judge a movie until I’ve seen it & that is true but after seeing trailers for World War Z I felt like I had been punched in the gut…what the hell was going on?

As you can probably tell I’m a huge fan of the book that inspired the movie. Max Brooks World War Z is the definitive zombie book & if you haven’t read it stop reading this, get a copy & be prepared to have your mind blown.

Don’t get me wrong I wasn’t against World War Z the movie at first; I actually thought it had a lot of promise. I didn’t love that Brad Pitt was involved but considering the lengths he went to get the rights I felt like he respected the work enough to not screw it up to badly.

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When I heard about filming locations I was a tad puzzled…it seemed so few for a book that spans the globe but figured that a movie would have to be condensed otherwise it would Lord of the Rings in length. I still had hope…& then I saw the first trailer.

If you are going to create a zombie movie, even one that you hope will be a commercial success, you have to get the zombie right & World War Z gets them so wrong it makes me mad. For starters…CGI? Not just CGI but bad CGI? That scene in Jerusalem got me so mad, it looks terrible.

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The 2nd problem? They run & jump like super-beings…now I’m not against the running type of zombies. They have their place in zombie fiction but Max Brooks World War Z type of zombie is very specific & it is nearer the Romero style of zombie. That the movie would shy away from this type & instead go for a CGI mess was a step to far for me. I’ve read Brad Pitt’s reasons (wanted them to appear like worker ants & felt they needed to do a new style of zombie) & I think they are all rubbish. They wanted to get a low age rating to make as much money as possible, there is a reason the movie is a 15 (in the UK) & has very little gore.

The Walking Dead TV series has proven that there is an audience for graphic 18+ zombie fiction & it manages to make the slow moving classic zombie scary. I wouldn’t have even minded had CGI been used to flesh out the crowds of zombies as long as they hadn’t deviated so far from the books type.

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So with all this animosity towards it what prompted me to finally watch it? £3.49 on Sky Box Office & the opportunity to see if it at least tried to touch upon moments from the book. Maybe the odd scene here & there as a nod to hardcore fans like me might do…

That is not the case & I’ve struggled to find any real positives beside the quality of acting by most & the ending in the W.H.O building which is fairly tense & exciting. It’s just a pity it leads to an unnecessary plot device that makes battling the zombie epidemic a whole lot easier.

One of the most exciting things about the book is to see how our modern war machines, chemical weapons & advanced technology just couldn’t cope with such a basic creature. This would have translated so well to film particularly when it comes to a human fight-back but it wasn’t the case. A world-wide epidemic only exists as long as Brad Pitt is nearby…

I’ve tried to watch the movie detached from my feelings about the book & I still found the movie to be very poor. I can see why many enjoy it but I’ve always wanted my zombie movies to be nasty, brutal affairs with blood & guts flying. This is not it…

Some of the best things about World War Z are actually the poster artworks!

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Ultimately this is a heavily biased opinion (towards the book) & I will never understand why there wasn’t even an attempt to try & replicate the book. Brad Pitt isn’t bad in it but I hate how he has to be the hero saving the world.

I can never forgive the shoddy zombies though…


World War Z
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