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Reel Review – World War Z (2013)

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Last month, I decided to watch World War Z. It had just been released on Blu-Ray and I wanted to give it a watch before it became irrelevant. I never got around to reviewing it, so I figured it’s better late than never.

World War Z is yet another story of a quick-to-spread zombie apocalypse. There are a lot of clichés from countless other zombie movies that you can point out, but at the same time I can’t say it was completely unoriginal, because there are some notable points that still intrigued me.

Like I said, the plot of this movie is pretty typical for zombie thriller. The virus starts; and once it starts, it spreads rapidly. Brad Pitt plays former UN employee Gerry Lane who, along with his family, is rescued by his former UN connections and taken to a US Navy vessel in the Atlantic ocean. Once there, Lane agrees to help travel the globe in search of the source of the virus’ outbreak. Traveling to lands including Jerusalem and Wales, they encounter the ever-growing mass of zombies wherever they go. In a race against time, they must try to solve the mystery of how it all started, in order to find a cure.

I ended up enjoying World War Z a lot better than I thought I would. I had no real plans to originally see it in theaters, and figured I might as well just watch it on Blu-Ray later on. I’m glad I did see it, and I feel like it’s one of those movies that you could easily watch over and over again once it hits cable TV.

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What really sold me on my final positive opinion on this movie was it’s solid pace and the thrills that come along with it.  If it’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s when a zombie movie takes half of its two-hour runtime to go in-depth with all of its human characters, deriving from the amount of zombie footage (the exception being my love for The Walking Dead, as it’s an ongoing TV show).  World War Z avoids this, and focuses directly on the plot itself; that’s why I enjoyed the film as much as I did.  It’s natural that people want to see as much zombie action as possible, not the dramatic interactions between non-infected humans.  I feel like Brad Pitt really carried this film well in his lead role, and is one of those performances of his that may go overlooked because he’s known as ‘the handsome celebrity’.

While I enjoyed watching it, I also encountered some negative aspects.  I’ll say it again; World War Z encounters a lot of zombie clichés.  The plot is a small group of survivors who somehow manage a vast journey to find one small medicinal antidote for a worldwide disease.  It’s predictable, is what I’m getting at.  Another thing that itched me the wrong way was the movie’s PG-13 rating.  Throughout the entire film, we don’t see any gore.  Whenever a zombie lunges at a human, it cuts to another shot and we hear some fake bone-snapping or zombie growling to represent a death.  While I’m sure financially it was a better choice to release it was a PG-13 rating, I still think it could’ve been more maturely themed if it had been given more leg room with a rating.

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From a box office standpoint, World War Z did exceptionally well.  Like most anticipated Summer blockbusters, it had a terrific opening weekend.  It’s not too often that a movie without an already-established franchise or title behind it does this well. Its saw a $93.9 million opening week, which proves my point.  From there on, it kept a steady pace in theaters, and also gained critical and fan-driven success.

Overall, definitely give World War Z a watch.  It’s fun, fast-paced and keeps you on edge, whether it feels at times like you’ve seen this play out already or not.  There is also a sequel in development, and I can’t wait to see what direction they decide to take the movie in from here.

My Reel Rating: 7.0/10

Written by Josh Sazin on January 3rd, 2014

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This entry was posted on January 3, 2014 by in Reel Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , .
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