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The suspense is killer in this fast-paced, pulse-pounding epic of the potential last days of the human race. Former United Nations employee Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) is called upon to help stop the chaotic pandemic that has gripped populations around the world. Lane fights to keep his family safe, while searching for an answer to the outbreak before it destroys all of civilization. World War Z is the most gratifying action spectacle in years!
Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews
- Reviews Counted: 251
- Fresh: 170
- Rotten: 81
- Average Rating: 6.2/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Fresh: [It] does not try to extend the boundaries of commercial entertainment but does what it can to find interesting ways to pass the time within them.
Fresh: Against considerable odds, the ability and professionalism of the cast and crew have carried the day.
Fresh: Whatever problems World War Z encountered in its making, the movie has made it to theaters not dead on arrival, but walking dead, running dead, and - when it's really working - swarming dead.
Rotten: If you need proof that sometimes more can be less, here you go.
AN EXCITING BUT UNEVEN SUMMER ZOMBIE ADVENTURE
"World War Z" initially starts out as a surprisingly clever "Contagion"-style investigative zombie-thriller, but this fiercely paced apocalyptic adventure begins to fall apart very early on when smart logic is nearly abandoned for the more visceral thrills of seeing Brad Pitt save the world. Sadly, almost every major plot point starts to make no sense at all, and by the time the movie eventually reaches its somewhat corny finale, it's difficult to continue suspending any more of our sheer disbelief. But at least it's packed to the brim with terrifically thrilling set pieces that get our pulses racing and fast-moving zombies that, at times, do feel like actual threats. Sure, it's a mostly predictable action-blockbuster that doesn't truly add anything new to the crowded apocalyptic genre, but at least it's consistently entertaining enough to hold our attention from start to finish.
The flick is set in the present day as strange unrest breaks out around the world. And when the marauding hordes of undead arrive in Philadelphia, the Lane family barely makes it out with their lives intact. Gerry (Brad Pitt) is a former United Nations military officer who gets assistance from an ex-boss (Fana Mokoena) to evacuate his wife Karin (Mireille Enos) and children to the safety of an aircraft carrier off the coast. Then he's put to work in an instant as he's called upon to go on a globe-hopping mission to find the source of the rapidly spreading infection, traveling first to a military base in Korea, then to a safe zone in Israel, and finally to a World Health Organization research facility in Wales. Along the way, he picks up a sidekick in the form of feisty Israeli commando Segen (Daniella Kertesz). Can Gerry possibly find a cure to the zombie epidemic before it's too late?
For the most part, this movie is only interested in Gerry, so the filmmakers never really bother deepening any other characters introduced in the first act. That especially goes for our main character's wife and young kids, who are almost immediately pushed to the sidelines in favor of Pitt's thrilling, chilling adventure. There's some nice, supportive chemistry between Pitt and Kertesz, but her role essentially just remains irrelevant throughout the film, which is a bit of a shame. As the flick moves along, our protagonist basically assumes the responsibilities of experts, soldiers, and scientists so he can singlehandedly solve the mystery of the undead outbreak. It's utterly ridiculous, especially since he has to constantly survive zombie attacks that easily kill everyone else. But outrageous implausibility aside, I'll admit that the large-scale action sequences here are pretty impressive. One of this film's most memorable scenes takes place on a crowded plane full of zombies and unaffected survivors. Needless to say, a whole lot of bloody, rampant chaos ensues, albeit in a PG-13 style. There's so much going on in this script that it never gets a chance to take a breather. But fortunately, director Marc Forster keeps everything moving so briskly that we simply hang on for the ride. Nearly every apocalyptic set piece is thrillingly chaotic and fast-paced, as we see massive mobs of the undead swarm across the planet's landscapes. The camerawork in this movie is also inventive and urgent, with several nerve-shredding jolts added by all the harsh, mute colors and dark atmosphere. So it's annoying that the film's screenplay is so badly botched, reducing Gerry's motivations to merely saving his family. There are a ton of giant plot holes along the way that suddenly appear and are never brought up again, and the conclusion here just feels loosely strung together and not very satisfying. Then again, this mega-budget movie did suffer from a major series of drastic re-writes and reshoots, so I probably shouldn't have kept my expectations too high to begin with.
Although "World War Z" completely diverges from the source novel that inspired it, and lacks enough compelling characters and narrative cohesion to make it a fully satisfying cinematic experience, it's still a solidly competent white-knuckle horror adventure that manages to offer just enough fast-paced action and chilling tension to offset its unevenly executed screenplay. Pitt delivers a rock-solid performance in the lead role, and so does the rest of the cast with their supporting characters. Add in a ton of well-crafted action sequences and eye-popping visuals, and you've got yourself one thrilling zombie adventure that'll easily please the most undemanding fans of fun escapist entertainment. Sure, it's underdeveloped and overstuffed with unnecessary material, but if you enjoy blockbusters that are stylish and suspenseful in equal measure, this movie is at least worth a solid rent.
A Fun, Mindless Zombie Movie With a Few Flaws
When it comes to good, old-fashioned PG-13 zombie action thrillers, the pickings are pretty slim. But with this year's unexpectedly awesome "World War Z," Brad Pitt may have just reignited a genre, and found himself a new, highly profitable blockbuster franchise in the process. Granted, this isn't the most well-made flick of the summer season, nor is it the most jaw-dropping in terms of sheer spectacle, but I'd truly be lying if I said it didn't have me on the edge of my seat from start to finish. Now, before I go any further, let me just stress that this isn't your typical zombie flick, at least not in the sense that it solely focuses on just blood and gore. The genuine horror here comes from the nail-biting tension we feel in nearly every scene, not to mention the truly haunting visuals of massive hordes of the undead chasing after our heroes at a break-neck speed. Sure, these sequences have a tacked-on silliness to them (especially considering the outrageous use of CGI), but that's part of the reason why they're consistently so fun to watch. Another great aspect of the movie is, of course, Pitt, who gives one of his most enjoyable lead performances in years. He plays a likable family man who manages to survive every zombie attack that comes his way, all the while trying to find the source of the infection that's causing this worldwide, humanity-threatening outbreak. He's basically a one-man machine who's simply able to get the job done without ever fully staying in danger, which in itself is ridiculous on every level imaginable, but still manages to work in its own laughable way. The rest of the cast is great too, although no one else gets to shine as brightly as Pitt. But even with all its terrific upsides, the film has its share of drawbacks as well. For one, the script's utter lack of logic impedes on the consistency of the central story to the point where it's seemingly impossible to follow exactly what's going on at times. Another considerable setback is the climax and finale, which don't at all feel as tense and suspenseful as the previous half of the film. Instead, their purpose is to set up for the inevitable sequel to come, which is an understandable way to go, but it just doesn't truly amount to a satisfying ending in the long run. Nonetheless, I still enjoyed "World War Z" in spite of its faults. The action is well-executed and briskly paced, the cast is solidly talented and fun to watch, and the giant, apocalyptic visuals are surprisingly graphic and intense. Of course, not everyone will be able to look past the movie's flaws, but if you're genuinely in the mood for some heart-racing, action-packed zombie excitement, this one's well worth renting.
A surprisingly satisfying zombie action flick!!!!
To be honest, I had little hopes about this film when I heard about all the reshoots and story changes, not to mention how far it strayed from the book, but when I finally saw this movie in theaters I was surprised at how well this movie turned out. Granted, it had it's setbacks, but all in all it actually a really good, and quite terrifying zombie flick. The cast was well placed, and the action and suspense was relentless. In fact, the movie was so good, that I actually wished it didn't end when it did; I could have easily sat through another hour had this movie been longer. I heard that there will be an extended cut made available on Blu-ray, so is there any way that we could get our hands on the extended cut here??? Just putting it out there, not everyone owns Blu-ray.... Anyway, with that said, this film is both a must-see and a must-own for you library collection, especially if you're a fan of zombie flicks like me.
- Genre: Drama
- Released: 2013
- © 2013 Paramount Pictures Corporation and GK Films LLC. All Rights Reserved.