Saturday, July 20, 2013

World War Z

Starring: Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, James Badge Dale, Fana Mokoena
Marc Forster
Running Time:
1 hour, 46 minutes

Zombies are the new vampires. They're everywhere these days. That being said, I didn’t mind “World War Z.” Brad Pitt seems to slide into the role of “Superdad” fairly easily these days, but the role of “Superhero” takes a little more effort. As a former UN employee, Brad, as Gerry Lane, is blackmailed into helping stop a zombie epidemic before the apocalypse occurs. In order to keep his family safe on a US Navy vessel, Gerry must travel into the unknown and find a solution. Sounds simple enough. Though it slowed down in the middle, the crumbs and clues left throughout the film lead to a plausible and riveting conclusion.

Based on the 2006 novel by Max Brooks, “World War Z” definitely gives you a few jumps and a reason or two to clutch your armrest or your sweetie. The brief exposition allows you to peek into the comfortable, crave-able life of Gerry, Karin and their two daughters, in the peaceful suburbs of Philadelphia. Five minutes later, Gerry is fleeing with the fam through the streets of Philly, running from something...not quite human. His former UN buddies rescue them from the top of an apartment building in a helicopter and they flee to safety. Of course. We’re watching this movie because we know the protagonist will life, and surely he has connections and a plan.

The film quickly turns into "The Brad Pitt Show," as the supporting characters aren't given enough dialogue or arc to really make an impact. Stops in South Korea, Israel and Nova Scotia finally lead Gerry closer to an answer, all the while dodging somewhat laughable albeit frightening-looking zombies. The final 20 minutes are pretty interesting and keep you on the edge of your seat, after Gerry develops a theory about the epidemic and is forced to test it himself.

This is the type of film that has you checking over your shoulder when you exit the theatre. The conclusion definitely leaves it open for a sequel, and I hear there is already one in the works. I will probably see it because honestly, it IS Brad Pitt after all, and seeing his face on the big screen, if anything, is definitely worth $8.

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