Exciting, mysterious, far-fetched. The action kicks in early and the tense nature of the film holds through right until the end. Recommended? This thriller is quite fun to watch.
The story is probably a lot better than many uninformed skeptics might believe it would be. It is loosely based on a book of the same name which bears very little if any resemblance to the movie. That is not to say that the movie felt sparse and didn’t make sense. The story was, at the very least, coherent, if also convenient and unrealistic. But there were still some strong moments and characters that drove the movie along. The mystery and clues are found and planted quite blatantly, allowing viewers to enjoy the action as opposed to making them think too much. And then there’s Brad Pitt, the actor you don’t want to like because of all the press he gets, but when you watch his movies, you realize that he is actually really good. Here is no exception. It is also good to see him making use of his high billing in a film, unlike in another movie released last year in which he appears in two scenes… Not mentioning names… 12 Years a Slave…
As in most action films, the most impressive element of this movie is its visual effects. Many of the scenes involving swiftly travelling hordes of zombies were very well done, as was the plane sequence in the middle. In addition to the visual effects, the artistic department also made use of settings in three different continents and managed to capture the essence of each one: the business of the USA, the antiquity of Israel and the calm beauty of Wales.
Another noteworthy aspect of the film was the makeup work, not so much in execution, but more so in design. In most zombie movies, those infected (or risen) are partially decomposed and falling apart. Here, they are actually diseased and merely look like everyday people who are extremely sick and possess no control or consciousness. The actors playing the zombies, especially those transitioning, still gave the zombies some life; their sudden movements and appearances from seemingly nowhere constituting most of the scares in the film.
World War Z is probably not the first movie about a zombie apocalypse and definitely won’t be the last. The concept of a zombie apocalypse is one that many people will either find fascinating and fun or just plain stupid. Accordingly, this movie is not for everyone. Because it is also science fiction, it would be appreciated more for its thrills and stunning make-up and visual effects than its story or convenient premise. This is the type of movie that may have seemed far more impressive if it had come out a couple of decades ago, purely from the way that the effects are used and the development of the story.