Sunday, July 7, 2013

World War Z (quickie)

I've read a couple reviews arguing that World War Z is a bad movie because it had a faulty premise: trying to make a bloodless, gore-free zombie movie.* I actually thought the PG-13 zombies were pretty great, and the scenes where the zombies are all in swarming-mode were really fun to watch (I would hesitate before bringing children to see this—no blood doesn't mean no nightmares). World War Z is a bad movie (or at best a mediocre one), but for a different reason. As many have already discussed, the film takes all the politics out of the book and throws them away. While this isn't necessarily a bad thing, it makes the movie into pure spectacle, and if you're going to make a pure spectacle movie then you can't blow the biggest shots in the trailers. Sure, showing a massive horde of zombies scrambling over each other to climb up a wall is probably going to get people to come see your movie, but they're all going to be disappointed when that's all you've got to offer. You have to have something more up your sleeve.

So, yeah, I would have preferred the political take on this adaptation even if it was boring. But as we should all know by now, abstaining from politics is still a political position. As much as World War Z attempts to be apolitical, spectacular nonsense, it does betray its position with regards to one thing: the United States is apparently still the world's savior. As we all know from Independence Day, when the world is in trouble it's up to the US to rally everybody together to fight the bad guys. This seems like an incredibly outdated formula especially today when we can't even keep it together enough to retain the friendship of The Other White Guys. But, you know, whatever, it's a movie and a country can dream if she wants.

Final Notes
 - I found that towards the end the movie was trying to stretch out tension that didn't really exist for me. Maybe I just watch too many horror movies, but I thought this one could have been anywhere from 15 minutes to half an hour shorter.
 - There's this one scene where Pitt uses a Pepsi machine to distract a group of zombies, but before doing so he takes a nice, long, refreshing gulp out of one of them. It got genuine laughter from the entire theater. Hooray for product placement!
 - It was nice to see Brad Pitt in a movie again, but that kid needs to cut his hair.

Overall: Better than some critics are making it out to be, World War Z is fun summer mindlessness (both for the zombies and for the audience) if you haven't seen the trailers and don't normally watch horror movies. If you have seen the trailer or do enjoy horror movies, then maybe buy a ticket to something else because it lives up to neither its hype nor its genre.


*I've also read a couple reviews arguing that World War Z is a bad movie purely because it didn't live up to the novel. Movies aren't books, people. Get over it.

9 comments:

  1. Interesting. Good remarks. WWZ wasn't exciting enough for me, but you seem to recommend the book. I was going to buy the book this week to see what all the fuss is about. I assume you've read it - is it gory, violent, exciting, adrenalin-pumping, or more thoughtful?

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  2. I actually haven't read it myself, my friend read it and I made my remarks based on what he said as well as some internet research. Thanks for reading & commenting!

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  3. It’s a fun movie if you want a couple of chills and thrills, but not much else other than that. Good review Wes.

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    1. Please do not advertise like that on my blog. I doubt it will even help, I don't get much traffic.

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  5. Ha! Love the "movies aren't books" comment.

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  6. I agree with you rating. I also enjoyed those three beers very much :)

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    1. Yeah wait, bad movies should get more beers so you have an easier time getting through them! OH GOD WHAT HAVE I DONE?!

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