Reviews

World War Z

3

The Horde of the dead

Every zombie movie needs a hook: there’s fast zombies and there’s slow zombies. There’s cockney zombies and Nazi zombies; zombies in shopping malls and zombies in space. World War Z has a lot of zombies.

New York turns dead-head in the first five minutes of Marc Forster’s blockbuster horror and the mysterious virus responsible spreads quickly – seeing cities, countries and entire continents piled high with the running dead. Taking the multiple viewpoints of Max Brooks’ bestselling novel and cramming them all into Brad Pitt, Forster’s aerial view of the apocalypse might lack nuance but it more than makes up for it with scale. 

Pitt is Gerry Lane, a former UN investigator who manages to pull his family out of Manhattan and nab them a precious bunk bed on America’s last battleship. Called back into service by his old boss, Lane jets around the ruined earth to try and discover the original root of the plague – touching down in South Korean airbases, Israeli cities and, er, Wales. Pitt leads us through the carnage with suitable stoic grace, but WWZ doesn’t really care about anyone with a pulse.

Forster’s zombies aren’t really zombies at all, and they often look more like an angry football crowd on a Saturday night – but there’s never been a more impressive horde of flesh-eaters on the big screen. Sprinting, gnashing, leaping and head-butting their way through civilisation in a swarm of thousands, the Zombie apocalypse finally looks big enough to be believable. Globetrotting from one epic set-piece to the next, WWZ  is at its best when the screen is filled – with CG hordes pouring through crowded streets, piling high at city walls and overrunning helicopters like ants.

Forster (Quantum Of Solace) does fast and furious perfectly, but his widescreen approach doesn’t work so well when Lane’s investigation leads him down the dingy corridors of horror movies past and present. Conspicuously bloodless, the PG-13 rating rears its family friendly head whenever the camera gets too close for comfort, and a dumbed down finale looks suspiciously like a scene from every zombie flick that’s ever been made. But it’s not just the intestines that are missing – with Lane’s family crisis set against such a monumental backdrop, WWZ is sorely lacking in heart (and with it, any genuine sense of danger). 

The Hollywood blockbuster might be a bit late to the zombie party, but it arrives now exactly as everyone hoped and feared – hectic, deafening, empty but oh-so-spectacular.

Verdict:

Choosing quantity over quality, intensity over tension and big-screen thrills over low-fi shocks – this is probably what the zombie apocalypse will actually look like.

Film Details

User Reviews

    • thedanieljson

      Jun 2nd 2013, 22:59

      sounds like p**s.

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    • davidkilpatrick

      Jun 3rd 2013, 14:00

      What's with the "er, Wales" bit?

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    • Ichi1

      Jun 3rd 2013, 14:50

      A zombie movie with no gut munching ain't worth a nickel. PG-13 zombies....really?

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    • Hadouken76

      Jun 3rd 2013, 17:41

      People can watch it if they want, as long as they don't expect it to be based on the book, as the authors says the only similiarity is the title "and thats it". I am so fed up of watered down Zombie movies, zombies used to be scary, now they are just a punchline or badly tacked on CGI.

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    • batt101

      Jun 4th 2013, 9:09

      Exactly davidkilpatrick Wales is full of zombies!

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    • Desperation

      Jun 4th 2013, 17:28

      I would have preferred a bit more detail in the review. Such as how, if at all, it relates in any way whatsoever to the source material. Which the trailers seem to indicate that it doesn't at all.

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    • johntrapp

      Jun 6th 2013, 4:22

      It always amazes me how a major studio can lay out almost a quarter billion dollars to make a flick, yet won't pay 99 cents for a yellow pad and somebody who can actually write a script. How freakin' hard is it to make a GREAT movie? Seriously, ask yourself that. How hard is it? If the script sucks DO NOT MAKE IT. If it is GREAT then MAKE IT. Why is THAT so g*****n freakin' hard to understand before you lay out $200 gabillion bucks? Who runs these movie studios? The same geniuses who run the music industry which is why every g*****n song today sounds like a POS commercial for food or energy drinks? There is no zombie apocalypse. We are in the midst of a retard apocalypse. Somebody make a movie about that because it is real.

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    • HeavyVoodoo

      Jun 9th 2013, 20:41

      I have not yet seen the film, but I'm pretty sure that the early scenes featuring Brad escaping with his family are set in Philadelphia (but filmed in Glasgow).

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    • stonedjohn

      Jun 20th 2013, 10:03

      @HeavyVoodoo - it is Philadelphia, the fact that this reviewer didn't even pick up on that raises a question over their thoughts on the rest of the film. I'm not keen on this film, don't even mind that they've deviated from the source material - just don't see how you can make an effective zombie film (lest we forget these should be horror films!) as a PG-13. Most of the reviews, like the one above just read as though the reviewer is trying really hard to make it sound okay (perhaps a thanks for all the juicy 'film in trouble' headlines they got in the run up to release) so I'm happy to wait for this to turn up on the tellybox...

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    • gregeaston

      Jun 21st 2013, 15:53

      I was really looking forward to this movie when I heard WWZ got picked up. This is not the movie I thought we would get. I thought they'd have something to do with the book. A little. But this looks like 28 Days Later with none of the charm and 10,000 times more CG. Maybe maybe maybe I'll watch this some Saturday afternoon on basic cable.

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    • sydneybernstein

      Jun 21st 2013, 19:50

      I know - they really should set the finale in , er, England. That would be fresh. Never seen that before. Or maybe the er, highlands of Scotland. Or maybe an , er Irish theme pub or something. Heaven forbid, er, Wales, the er, first country of Britain and the oldest language in Europe, get a film.

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    • spid2411

      Jun 22nd 2013, 15:04

      2

      Just saw this - thats the fifth film I have seen this year that is a big studio blockbuster (Oblivion, Iron Man 3, Star Trek 2 and Man of Steel were the others). And something unites all of them - they were all completely bland and forgettable. I will never see this or the others ever again. It seems these days that studios want to revel in just being safe and trying to upset as few people as possible, as if mediocrity is somehow now the aspiration. The problem is that they end up churning out forgettable dross that goes by your eyes for a couple of hours, like the distant smell of manure on a farmers field passing your nostrils on a summers day. So very f*****g boring - I hope Elysium and Gravity can rise above it the way Cloud Atlas did. That and Maniac were the two best films so far this year that I've seen and the thing that united them was that they were not studio films and so actually showed some balls and creative vision.

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    • Ali1748

      Jun 22nd 2013, 15:15

      4

      I found WWZ a pleasant surprise, it was no where near as watered down or tame as I expected.

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    • DearDexter

      Jun 22nd 2013, 19:54

      4

      Wonderfully surprised by this. Had heard all the bad talk and wasn't really interested in seeing it but I did and it was actually good. Having gone to see two films that were over hyped garbage (Star Trek & Man Of Steel) it's nice to see a film that actually has characters and not characterchures.

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    • wefollower

      Jun 23rd 2013, 11:19

      Dwonload World War Z Full Movie DVDrip Quality HD -->> tonmovie.blogspot(dot)com

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    • beautifulbeasts

      Jun 24th 2013, 13:44

      4

      I was pleasantly surprised by World War Z. I'm actually not sure why its getting so many poor reviews. I appreciate it is miles away from the book, but the Author said that before it's major release so why are we complaining? Call it fan fiction or something, but as soon as Hollywood bases an idea off a much loved book, the hordes will send their hate. Such a shame. I for one, was happy that they did not show all the gore and guts that comes with so many movies these days, it was refreshing to still be crepped out and scared by the zombies, without seeing one pull a mans guts out. The movie was atmopsheric and the zombies were perfectly animated. As the review states the CGI wide-shots and landscapes made the film. Brad Pitt and his supporting cast were a little vapid, but not hatable. Over all, I found WWZ to be enjoyable, entertaining and once or twice, pretty scary too.

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    • hannahnotorange

      Jun 24th 2013, 15:58

      4

      Was really baffled with the strange conversation in the car about the mother being British, which had absolutely no relevance to any other part of the story whatsoever. It implied that they would take safe haven in Britain at the end of the film, but they... didn't. The script in the first 30 minutes was awful anyway, but that struck me as particularly strange. Other than that I actually very much enjoyed the film, I felt it was original and that I hadn't seen everything time and time again in another Zombie film. it was well done and I would go see it again (not usually my type of film!). To put it as others have already- it was such a pleasant surprise!

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    • jasonoconnor

      Jun 25th 2013, 13:26

      5

      i loved it this is a proper zombie movie

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    • GeezaFett

      Jun 26th 2013, 7:04

      Hey judycrews04. Your brother is a drug smuggler and you should ask him for a loan to go on a literacy course. Dweeb

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    • 2Dglasses

      Jun 27th 2013, 10:05

      2

      Think 3 stars is generous, this was a watered down mess with a decent opening but a dreadful ending. That said, i read up on what the other ending was and it just sounds daft and not in tune with the rest of the film. Some massive scenes clearly took the money from the rest of it, making scenes like the Korea segment and the end very low budget and minimalist. Much laughing-at the twitching/moaning at the end, and at the pure stupidity of the suicidal singalong-are the signs that a film hasnt worked. Also the ending voiceover said that we'd found ways to avoid them and then fight back, but "the war isnt over"...he might as well have coughed and said "sequel!" to the sound of an old till opening.

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    • Hadouken76

      Jun 30th 2013, 10:57

      Seems after Kite Runner, Forsters output has been decidely DOA..

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    • bibititi

      Jun 30th 2013, 16:21

      Watch World War Z here : worldwarzwatchfree.blogspot.ro/

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    • bugmenot

      Jul 6th 2013, 18:08

      Like watching the edited versions of Dexter, it just ain't right.

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    • FBKTudor

      Jul 8th 2013, 11:36

      I enjoyed the film. Sure the Zombies weren't chewing on people's intestines every few minutes like with other Zombie films, but for me that was a nice change, as this has been so over-used in other Zombie films that most have become bland as a result. In this we saw energetic Zombies that could outrun people, pounce on people, and that climb over each other to scale walls. It was a great new take on the Zombie hoarde, over the usual, bland, run away, oh it's eating my intestines fare of most Zombie films with little else happening. The PG-13 cert didn't harm the film, as a lot of other Zombie films have merely become Gornos with less plot than a bad Saw film.

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    • thrillseeking

      Jul 24th 2013, 16:13

      It's an action movie, as pointed out by spid2411, but I liked it for the scary zombies and interesting locations. However, it's not a zombie movie. I'd argue it's not even horror.

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    • clintmagnum

      Aug 18th 2013, 12:57

      4

      The whole point of not showing blood, guts and gore is the same reason reading a book can be so entertaining. Imagination. Your mind can fill in the blanks if you allow yourself to become involved in the story. I personally thought this was a very good movie.

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    • matthewbrady

      Sep 11th 2013, 21:41

      4

      Didn't flop

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    • davidnelson

      Oct 21st 2013, 2:45

      3

      that's a fair review, hope there's no sequel though

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    • Jareth64

      Nov 26th 2013, 13:10

      3

      Cliched, c**p, formulaic, boring... what the hell?

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