Thursday, 20 June 2013
REVIEW: WORLD WAR Z
116 Minutes. Starring Brad Pitt, Ded Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Ian Bryce & David Morse. Director: Marc Forster.
Zombie films...aren't you just sick to death of them? It must be the apocalypse. Unless Woody Harrelson's playing a banjo I'm not listening. Sure 'I Am Legend' was a classic but those zombie-like mutants where actually vampires. It's all getting a little confusing and crowded. This dawn of the dead has reached dusk for the last of us...or has it?! Thanks to the cult 2006 novel by Max Brooks, we have a fresh, new and original coffin dodger tale in 'World War Z' and thanks to Brad Pitt's zombie (and apparently scissor) survival guide we have a great film too in a Summer season of Sci-Fi blockbusters that keep that genre hungry for more like a million zombie's chasing the worlds biggest Hollywood star like teenage girls in the 90's.
Beneath all the tabloid fame and reclusive hair stories, it's easy to forget that Brad Pitt is more than a pretty face...even though he's one year off 50 (yeah...I know right...is he a vampire?! How about another interview?!). Pitt is not only one of Hollywood's biggest stars but also it's best actors, whether his films are mainstream blockbusters or cult classics. Here the 'Oceans', 'Basterds', 'Benajamin Button', 'Jesse James', 'Troy', 'Fight Club', 'Mr. & Mrs. Smith', 'Se7en' and 'Twelve Monkeys' star strikes the fine line between both even adding a crowbar 'Moneyball' swing and strike to hit this one out the park. Here with Marc Forster's take on Brooks' book, Brad gives a big-budget popcorn movie more sustenance and substance with a well acted, mild-mannered exercise of restrained passion and bold and brave leadership, like any Hollywood leading man acting against the impossible plot odds should do. It might be strange to see Brad Pitt in a movie like this in this day and age, but it's his and this movies refusal to sell-out in a saturated genre that makes this horror film anything but horrible.
This different take on the undead brings this subject matter back alive with it's investigation into what caused these former people to run amok despite looking like lazy adolescents. This isn't just a gun blazing, escapism tale, but there are still more thrilling and scary set-pieces that give this plot of substance some action style. From Middle-East madness, to terrifying airbone action that could ground Denzel's 'Flight', this film goes everywhere from Philadelphia to Wales by way of South Korea, meeting everyone from a maddening David Morse to an uncredited, but worthy of note Matthew Fox. Nothing is lost here with a film that raises the tension along with Hollywood obsession of an undead apocalyptic future. Set to the sonic soundscape of Matt Bellamy's magnificent Muse '2nd Law' tracks, it all sounds and feels perfectly like the end of the world. As horrible and nerve shredding as that is. Technology, politics, economics, culture and the military all have a method to the madness place here in the first zombie movie that really does feel 'real-world'. Brooks and his adaptation have taken this idea to the max. This living dead social commentary is a plauge to all that is wrong with todays world with an ideal ready to get fed for anyone with a brain. Does humanity have a chance?
As thousands and thousands of crazy, graphic and incredible CGI zombies clamber all over each other to reach Pitt's position (at one great point you can't tell which running men or zombies or humans and this is what makes this film that tense and that great) it's easy to see why our star and Leonardo DiCaprio where in a bidding war for this big picture. Still as good as Leo would be this truly is Pitt's picture. With strong support our lead, charges through the way as the only hope in a world gone mad. From action smarts to scientific senses who better to lead the fight and the new world battle royale? The title works best if you pronounce it like an American, as this really does feel like the third world war. 'World War Zed' just doesnt sound right. Still in these world 'warz' nothing sounds better for a planned trilogy and video game (hey, there doing better than movies these new days) than the new team of Pitt and Forster and their army of talent in reserve. The books are something else and after this, there's no reason the films can't be that formidable either. This perfect pandemic isn't over yet and after this you'll be itching for more without the need for a cure. Don't moan and groan at these flesh eaters because this really is infectious. The dead just got resurrected. Pitt won the battle but who will win the Z war? TIM DAVID HARVEY.