FILM REVIEW: WORLD WAR Z (15)

In a summer crammed full of sequels and remakes, this is one movie that deserves plaudits for offering that something different.

Brad Pitt and a zombie film may not seem like your usual fit, but this big-budget blockbuster is probably more akin to the scale of Will Smith’s I Am Legend – compared to a low-budget George Romero or indie-esque 28 Days Later effort.

And for the most part it does a pretty decent job despite never really catching fire at any point – as it juggles between being part apocalyptic thriller, part zombie flick.

That’s because a sole ‘18’ or ‘R-Rated’ gory zombie horror simply wouldn’t cut it as a summer blockbuster – let alone star Pitt – hence why it has opened to an impressive $65million plus Stateside on its opening weekend.


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The story is based around Pitt’s former United Nations employee Gerry Lane, who – after escaping the initial New York outbreak with his British wife Karin (Mireille Enos) and two daughters – goes from America to South Korea, and Israel to erm, Wales, to try and find a cure to this infectious pandemic that turns people into the ravenous undead, who turn every human they bite.

And they’re not the slow-moving Romero-type, but the fast-moving 28 Days Later-esque version – with chattering-teeth ready to tear into the nearest available piece of flesh – and they’re causing serious havoc in cities across the globe.

Lane’s globetrotting takes him through several zombie-infested locales and eye-catching action set-pieces – including a terrific mid-air plane sequence – as he tries to reach the World Health Organisation headquarters near Cardiff with injured female Israeli soldier Segen (Daniella Kertesz) in tow (whose arm he had to sever to prevent infection).


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Despite the combined special effects and make-up providing a scarily aggressive zombie, don’t expect the usual gore as this has still been tailored for the family market, and really could have quite easily have been a ‘12A’ instead of a ‘15’ – but was maybe upped due to the nightmare-inducing horror element.

Its final third leads to a pretty low-key ending as the movie never really gets out of a solidly economical third gear – with Pitt doing a noteworthy job with a relatively unknown cast (only Lost’s Matthew Fox pops in for a cameo as a really recognisable face).

Despite the reported deviation from the book’s source material, it does leave a lot available for a possible sequel – and after this fine first effort it would be more than welcomed – and is a decent return to form for Quantum of Solace director Marc Forster.

It won’t win any awards, but World War Zzzzz it definitely isn’t – and is undoubtedly one of the better (and freshest) summer blockbuster entries so far.

Gavin Miller

Cast: Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, Daniella Kertesz, James Badge Dale, Matthew Fox, Fana Mokoena, Ludi Boeken, David Morse, Elyes Gabel, Pierfrancesco Favino, Peter Capaldi, Ruth Negga, Moritz Bleibtreu, David Andrews, Michiel Huisman, Sterling Jerins, Abigail Hargrove, Fabrizio Zacharee Guido

Running Time: 1hr 55mins

Director: Marc Forster [youtube id=”qPGUtytMUk8″ width=”600″ height=”350″]

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