World War Z: at Best Okay

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June 24, 2013 by Devin

I have an interesting relationship with World War Z. I read the book and absolutely loved it. Then I reviewed the original script and also adored it. Then I realized what the movie they were making, and I instantly lost any sense of anticipation.

So I was somewhat pleasantly surprised when, while watching the movie, I realized it was not completely generic. Unfortunately, that is about the best thing I can say about this movie. While the movie is not the disaster I feared it would be, it is easily forgetable.

The biggest issue with the movie is that it attempts to be three different movies. It tries to have big budget action scenes mixed with political intrigue before moving to a third act focused on tight horror. This would not be an issue if the movie was able to mix these elements in an effective way, but instead what seems to be happening is that this is a movie trying to appeal to three different audiences in three wildly different ways without really succeeding at any of them.

At one point, there is a conversation about how one government reacted to the zombie apocalypse followed by an action scene without any real connection between them. The final act is only connected to the first two with the barest of plot threads. Part of the time the movie seems like it wants to be about spectacle, but at other points it seems like it wants to be about drama or political intrigue.

None of the parts of this movie are good enough to carry the whole. The action is somewhat exciting but wholly predictable. The actors all make valiant attempts at making an impression but are overshadowed by just about everything else in the movie.

The political suspense narrative sadly does get the shaft. While I understand that the book is not the movie, one of the reasons the book is so popular is because it went into the how and why of the zombie apocalypse whereas most movies are just content that it happens. The movie keeps the attempt at mystery but instead of realistic political science, it replaces it with scientific babble that serves more to give the hero a goal it does a theme or idea.

I am just having a hard time understanding who this movie is for. It is clearly not for fans of the book. Even fans who understand that books are different from movies will have a hard time finding what they liked in the book in this movie. It will keep your attention for its running time but offers no reason to talk about it beyond that.

Ridiculously Photogenic Apocalypse Survivor

Did you see World War Z? Did you like it? Dislike it? Remember it? Let me know in the comments below.

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