Tuesday, 18 June 2013

World War Z Review: Will you survive the zombie apocalypse?

Zombies are, quite ironically actually, everywhere these days. Whether it’s on TV with The Walking Dead, the British series In the Flesh or the cast of any reality TV show, they have taken over the airwaves in a lot of people’s lives. They have also made decent work of the movie theaters as well. With films like 28 Days Later and its sequel 28 Weeks Later, the Resident Evil series that just doesn’t seem to want to die, or spoofs like Shawn of the Dead and Zombie Strippers (yes, that movie actually exists, look it up). It doesn’t seem to matter whether it is slow zombies or fast zombies or zombies who dance on a stripper pole, people seem to like them despite ongoing talk of the coming zombie apocalypse.

Just as with vampires and werewolves and other supernatural creators of myth, zombies have their own mythology attached to them. Generally with zombies it’s that things in society have gotten out of hand and we need to rebuild what we are currently living in. So in that way, World War Z is just like any other zombie apocalypse story, things fall apart rather suddenly on a monumental scale and we get to watch it happen. What is different about World War Z is that it takes a really interesting approach to how things fall apart.

In following Brad Pitt’s character of Gerry Lane, a retired U.N. investigator, we get to see how a security conscious world deals with the tragic circumstances they find themselves in. The presumption of most zombie apocalypse movies is that everything goes under, every country in the world loses their governments and the entire system we have set up is destroyed. World War Z asks if that would actually happen. If a government is on constant alert for terrorist attacks and threats from foreign governments, would they actually be left unprepared for the zombie apocalypse?

As a result, World War Z is very different from traditional zombie movies. Just as I said in my review of Man of Steel however, that may not be something that people enjoy. It means that a lot of the things that long time zombie fans like about watching the zombie apocalypse don’t necessarily happen. If you are such a person, you may be left wanting by World War Z. You get some of what you want but not everything. Still, for a movie that so many people were nervous about given how much bad press it got for reshooting half of the movie and other problems, it works really well.

I enjoyed the movie and I am not traditionally a fan of zombie movies. It worked well and while some elements weren’t explored as much as I would have wanted them to like the relationship of Gerry Lane to his family, I still think it’s a movie worth seeing. They also made good use of 3D which many recent movies haven’t because they have been conversions. This is a movie that you might actually want to see in 3D.

Will you survive the zombie apocalypse? Maybe, but you will definitely survive a screening of World War Z and come away thinking it is a great experience.