Saturday, June 22, 2013

World War Z

Movie Name: World War Z
Year of Release: 2013
Director: Marc Forster
Stars: Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, Daniella Kertesz, James Badge Dale, Fana Mokoena, David Morse, Ludi Boeken, Peter Capaldi, Pierfrancesco Favino, Ruth Negga, Moritz Bleibtreu, Sterling Jerins, Abigail Hargrove
Genre: Action, Drama, Horror
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 7

German director Marc Forster's career continues to be filled with eclectic and different choices. Following the poorly received "Machine Gun Preacher", Forster has tackled the adaptation of Max Brooks' "World War Z", a book that details the zombie epidemic and how humanity handles it's outburst. The film introduces us to the Lane family - Gerry and Karin and their two daughters, who live in Philadelphia. Gerry is a former UN investigator, who quit his job to take care of his kids. This apparent blissful existence is thrown into disarray when a zombie outburst occurs, and quickly topples every big city in existence. Gerry and his family are taken to a safe haven, but as a trade off, Gerry has to go to the hot zones of the outbursts, and hopefully discover how the whole epidemic began and how it can be battled.
"World War Z" is a film that has had it's fair share of shooting issues and problems during production, due to mixed opinions to the ending and overall tone and direction of the film. The result is however surprisingly engaging. The film allows for a perfect analogy to how humanity deals with an epidemic of gargantuan proportions, but also for our current times, with the current economic woes and how everything single movement that one country does is echoed everywhere and resonates elsewhere. The zombies in this film are also quite different from have been detailed in other excursions on this theme: these creatures function very much like a virus that wants to spread as much and as quickly as possible. In that sense the film perfectly captures the sense of urgency, fear and sheer dimension of what an event like this can create. Forster smartly balances the big action set pieces, with a more confined point of view, which in this case focuses on Gerry and his quest to return to his family - his frantic need to do the right thing, but also remain alive and safe for the sake of his loved ones, gives the film it's heart. The film does have underdeveloped and underused characters, but it's tone and aesthetic are fantastically adequate for what the film presents and stages. Brad Pitt again commands the screen in an adequate performance. A suspenseful, smartly conceived film worth watching.