World War Z is the perfect summer movie. It's exciting, engaging and even quite scary. It's intense right from the unsettling opening credits and rarely lets up. Buckle up, it's a wild ride.
The movie follows Gerry Lane, as he attempts to get his wife and kids to a safe zone during a world wide zombie outbreak. Safety comes to his family in exchange for Gerry doing a dangerous mission for the United Nations, his former employer. Gerry leaves his family on a military ship as he accompanies a top virologist to what they believe is the initial source of the outbreak.
Brad Pitt, whose production company (Plan B Entertainment) produced the film, stars as Gerry Lane. The most striking element of the casting, is that everyone seems very much like ordinary people, including Pitt. As Pitt has grown older, he has drifted away from sex symbol roles and fits well into the part of a father fighting for his family.
No one in this movie feel like a typical Hollywood actor. I didn't even recognize Matthew Fox, who plays a paratrooper in the film.
The zombies move fast and are really scary. The movie has a few great scenes of people transitioning into zombies and it's horrific to watch. As seen in trailers for the film, the hordes of zombies crawling over each other looked like a colony of ants and was very visually disturbing.
This movie will make you jump. A lot. It has loads of startle moments. I found myself holding my breath and clinching my fists. Did I mention that it's intense? Zombies aside, this is the story of a virus outbreak, which gives it the element of realistic horror, especially with regard to how humans react when all hell breaks loose. It's not pretty.
The story is solid. It has a mystery element to it, as everyone is racing to figure out the reason for the zombie outbreak and how to stop it. The mystery is unveiled slowly, as little hints are dropped along the way. Although it wasn't a mind-blowing type of revelation, I also didn't anticipate the reason behind the outbreak or the solution. The movie does a good job of keeping the viewer in the present moment, rather than giving them time to figuring everything out or search for plot holes. There was never a moment where I wasn't engaged with the action on the screen. The pacing is pitch perfect.
The writing remains solid by revealing just enough without saying too much. They left the unanswered questions in a way that didn't leave me bothered. I accepted it. I feel like this was a far better storytelling solution than it would have been if they had created a rushed or silly ending. The story that they are trying to tell is on a micro time scale and is just a slice of what is ultimately a bigger global story. It is about Gerry Lane's role in the outbreak, not about the outbreak on a grand scale, this kept the story tight and certain questions irrelevant.
This would be a great movie to be turned into a Halloween Maze. QUICK SPOILER ALERT - The zombies are affected by noise. I would love to see a maze where the zombie actors are triggered by noises that the guests can't help but create! The medical lab scene at the end of the movie would be the perfect maze setting. -DONE
World War Z is one of the most entertaining movies that I have seen this year. We watched it in a nearly sold out theater and the audience reaction was overwhelmingly positive, with tons of energy and people clapping at the end. I wish that every summer movie release was this good.