World War Z (2013) – Blu-Ray Review



Directed by Marc Forster Written by Matthew Michael Carnahan, J. Michael Straczynski, Max Brooks
Starring Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, Daniella Kertesz

116 mins - Action/Adventure/Horror - 17 September 2013 (Blu-ray)

I read the Max Brooks book, and when I heard that it was going to be adapted for the big screen I nearly died of a heart attack I was so filled with excitement. Then, once it was released in theaters, the reviews started coming in. I deliberately didn’t read them, but I couldn’t escape the overwhelming fact that it was receiving negative reviews.

Armed with this cursory knowledge, I entered my viewing of World War Z.

As I sat down to take it all in, I said to myself, “This won’t be anything like the book” and “Don’t expect it to be good.” The first statement addressed my initial question upon hearing the film was going to be made, “But how are they going to tell this ‘oral history’? The geographical vastness outlined in the book would be nearly impossible to accomplish in film, the number of characters was too diverse, and the scope of the story (separated into three major time periods: outbreak, war, post-war) was too grand.

The point I’m trying to make is that I went in with low expectations, and that addresses the second point above.

There was just no way the film could sufficiently give us what the book did, and it didn’t. Is the movie horrible for that? It’s still enjoyable. I don’t think so. Did the filmmakers need to borrow the name, World War Z? Doubtful. The film is nearly horrible on its own merits, namely how a C-130 military plane flies from New York City to South Korea without stopping to refuel.

world war z wall

The film doesn’t really follow the book at all. I know that it’s been some time since I read the book, but I don’t remember a “vaccine” being found, I don’t remember a WHO bust-in, a plane crash, or an RV chase out of the city. Basically the whole thing. What I can tell you is that the majority of the movie deals with what’s essentially Act I of the three-act book, Act I being the outbreak segment.

I do remember a sense of detachment while reading the book — there’s no one central character whom you care for. And that’s the primary reason the film can’t follow the book, audiences need someone to fall in love with in their movies — enter Brad Pitt, family man, ex-government operative who quite his dangerous job to raise his children.

world war z family

Blu-ray details:

-2.40:1/1080p/AVC-encoded transfer
-7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
-123-minute unrated cut
-Special features include: Origins (adapting the book), Looking to Science (real-world parallels), and WWZ: Production

Rock Hard \m/

The Verdict:

World War Z might be a zombie flick, but it's certainly not a horror. It's an action movie and it's paced as such. So, if you're going to watch this movie, don't expect a zombie horror. It's fast, it's exciting, it's segmented into puzzle pieces -- not complicated pieces, a fifth grader could figure it out -- it's a basic blockbuster. Is it worth the watch? Well, you're not going to go wrong if you're looking for entertainment, but you're not missing much if you skip it.

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