warning: article contains spoilers
i would say that where Man of Steel succeeds in its trailer and promotion and fails in its delivery, World War Z is quite the opposite. at first, i was all set to not watch the movie because of the apparent drama circulating about its production. the greatest hype? it going approximately $100 million over its budget. and a close second, which any bookworm has to comply with, is how faithful the movie adaptation is to its original author. the answer is not at all. http://theoatmeal.com/comics/wwz. and they cast their explanations why this is so here (i.e. a geopolitical story is far too loaded and does not make for a very entertaining summer blockbuster).
so let’s get into the analysis of the movie itself, shall we? the plot of World War Z holds a lot of similarities to its zombie film precursors. in fact, we can compare Naughty Dogs’ new video game, The Last of Us, alongside it and see not so remarkable coinciding events which the zombie story loves to replay: a) a man with a family; b) family lives threatened by a sudden mysterious crash/explosion; c) an attempt to evacuate; d) the first encounter of a zombie (in this case, both taking place near a car where it ravages the driver); e) their own car crash; f) an attempt to work with another family, best with other children in danger as well; g) hope for a cure.
these elements are definitely all too familiar with the zombie-fanatic audience, yet, what is it about a zombie film that makes an audience constantly come back to watch these scenes again and again? maybe it’s the love of gore, suspenseful moments that make the heart race and a protagonist who seems to outlast them all. and in these aspects (except maybe the gore aspect, pg-13 doesn’t really scream gore, a lot of the violence is after all censored) World War Z is sure to please.
but as a thought-provoking piece, or a film that pushes the genre into something more original and different? World War Z will not be that movie.
if anything, it will be forgotten by me in six months time, or when another good action blockbuster comes my way.
the film itself begins strong with a scrapbook-like montage of news footage on how the rabbis-like virus was experimented with, intelligent people giving seemingly intelligent debates on the ethics on said experiment, sporadically juxtaposed and intersected with images of carnivorous predators pouncing on their victims and images ala national geographic of ants invading territory and using sure mob strength. if anything, i was surprisingly pleased by the artistic premise of this film. these images served the purpose of establishing to the audience the nature and sheer animalistic ferocity of the World War Z‘s zombies. these comparisons kept flashing back to my mind when i saw how the zombies acted, on the macro scale they moved and strategised like ants, on the micro scale they attacked with blind hunger like tigers, leopards and jaguars.
again, World War Z will not be a movie that pushes the zombie frontier or the multiple questions you may have about the zombie phenomenon. it does not answer how a person may be infected by zombies, it does not explain how exactly the cure works and it does not explain how Brad Pitt can survive so many close encounters just by tying magazines around his forearms. however, as any zombie movie may seek to do, it may force you to reflect upon our position right now as a society, it forces us to question whether the war right now is based on military terrorism or bio terrorism, whether we are far too reliant on technology, technology that in the case of an apocalypse can very well be our downfall, e.g. when Gerry’s wife calls him in the middle of his attempt to refuel the plane, and how rationality can be a downfall as well (which just frustrates me actually, like how they do-off with the Harvard graduate only a few minutes into the mission, and how it took Gerry so long to figure out what the possible cure may be, and how that possible cure honestly just doesn’t make any sense).
the beginning of the movie was definitely its highlight, the next few scenes were a drag, the stealth scenes towards the end in the WHO building were awesome, but the ending with Brad Pitt’s voice-over was as sappy as endings come, and honestly leaves audiences with nothing more but the smoke-out-of-the-ass message: “be prepared to expect the unexpected” – which is ironic as far as the movie goes.
but after all that being said, unlike the book, i doubt World War Z is there for us to over-analyse. it is just a movie where Brad Pitt once again shines as a bad ass hero of the day. it’s the kind of movie that you can watch again five years down the road at home with a bag of popcorn. or as a drinking game, what have you.
so, till next time!