Saturday, June 15, 2013

Review: World War Z (Marc Forster, 2013)

World War Z’s journey to the screen has been plagued with issues – a ballooning budget and a seven week re-shoot following a re-written final act – but thankfully there are few signs of such production problems and plenty to admire about Marc Forster’s (Finding Neverland, Quantum of Solace) high-energy film. From my understanding of Max Brooks’ novel – an oral history of a Zombie war – that inspired the film, this is something else entirely. I found it to be a frighteningly visceral portrayal of a ‘Zombie-pocalypse’ in the vein of a scientific disaster film.

Moving at a frenetic pace this is a relentlessly intense experience with huge scale production. Within mere minutes we are already witnessing the ferocious outbreak. Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt), a former United Nations employee, his wife Karen (Mireille Enos) and children find themselves embroiled in mob panic as a Zombie outbreak quickly spreads. They manage to escape in a camper van and make it to Newark where they are extracted by Lane’s former UN colleague and lay low in a rundown apartment block. From there Gerry is coerced into representing the UN and traverses the Globe – from South Korea, to Israel and finally to a World Health Organisation lab in Wales – in search of a means to save what is left of humanity, while his family are kept under Navy protection.

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