Is World War Z Going to be Terrible?


November 8, 2012 by Devin

The World War Z trailer was released today, and it looks a lot like your average zombie apocalypse movie. Which is a problem. Because the book was not your average zombie apocalypse movie. 

Now of course the book was not an average zombie apocalypse movie because it was a book and not a movie, but what I mean by that is that there is a clear type of zombie apocalypse trope evident in movies. The zombies attack, the hero is abruptly ripped out of their normal existence, and the stakes are high because the hero’s family is at stake.

What was great about the book was that while it was a normal zombie apocalypse, it was not a zombie apocalypse movie. It billed itself as an oral account of the apocalypse that not only took itself incredibly seriously, but was also written in such a way that the audience took it seriously. Tone wise, it was probably closer to Contagion than Dawn of the Dead.

To be fair, the movie does look like it will differentiate itself enough from other zombie movies to at least have its own identity. The scale, for one, will be enormous, just like the book, and there looks to be some other plotline involving retrieving something or fighting back.

However, where the book used the huge scale to comment upon the reactions of the world and the way different cultures reacted to crisis, the movie looks like it will use the huge scale to just have bigger action. There is a part in the trailer when zombies are seen turning over a bus or climbing up a wall, and my first thought was, “Why would they do that?” That may seem like a dumb question to ask at a zombie flick, but the book was written for people who ask these questions.

This movie could still be really good, but I doubt it will be good for the same reasons. World War Z the book was great because you could go into it thinking, “Oh look a fun zombie book,” and you would leave feeling a bit scared, a bit optimistic, and a bit more aware of the world around you. World War Z the movie looks like a move you could go into thinking, “Oh look a fun zombie movie,” and leave thinking, “Oh wow, that was a fun zombie movie.”

via Huffington Post

3 thoughts on “Is World War Z Going to be Terrible?

  1. Tyler B says:

    Gotta say your critique seems spot-on. Where are the multiple perspectives? The competing explanations and responses? Haven’t read the book in its entirety, but a chapter was enough to highlight the differences between standard fare. And yeah, the whole human ladder to get over the dam tactic seems a little implausible.

    • Devin says:

      I agree with you about the multiple perspectives. Having a main character, and furthermore having a main character on which the fate of the world lies (as implied in the trailer), seems completely backwards in light of the novel. The novel was fantastic at making people seem small in light of this huge crisis, and it is worth noting that one of the more interesting wrinkles in the book was how, in order for a crisis like this to be defended, sacrifices had to be made and how it might be better for a small group of people to be sacrificed for a large group of people. Considering the family dynamic the movie is using, I doubt it will go into these themes.

      Having said that, I have heard that the filmmakers were interested in making other World War Z movies from different perspectives, but I feel like the decision to make any World War Z movie without multiple perspectives was flawed in the first place.

  2. […] If you have been following this blog for any length of time, you probably saw my post about the World War Z trailer in which I basically decided that the movie, if nothing else, was not going to be anything like the book. […]

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The Good Greatsby

Paul Johnson's comedy blog: I didn't get into comedy to be rich or famous. All I've ever wanted was to be somebody rich and famous.

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