Posted by Alia Haddad on June 27, 2013 at 11:42 am
I made no secret about it: I have been on the fence about Marc Forster’s adaptation of the Max Brooks book of the same name, World War Z, for quite a while. While I loved the book and the initial idea that this book would be turned into a movie starring no other but public heartthrob turned zombie killer Brad Pitt, after seeing the original teaser and reading all about the on-set hijinks, I started becoming worried. Just why did they have to re-write the script so many times? This couldn’t be a good thing. And then when I finally say the first trailer, I just knew: this was not really based on the book. Outside of a zombie world war, the movie seemed to contain no real resemblance of the book.
Dragging my feet, I finally saw the movie, which just confirmed my suspicions. While there were definitely a couple scenes that were borrowed from the original text, the movie chronicled the zombie apocalypse as it happened, turning it much more into an action film. That being said, I would be lying if I didn’t say that those action sequences were fun. In fact, they kept me on the edge of my seat as I debated the merits of a zombie apocalypse versus, say, a man-made one. These scenes were also ripe with scares. And, to top it off, it didn’t hurt that Brad Pitt was the viewer’s guide in the film–telling us where to look, what to do, and when to scream. Those scenes were all very fun and perfect for a summer blockbuster. And if those scenes were what comprised the entire film, I would have to say it wasn’t half bad for a summer blockbuster.
Where World War Z did falter, however, was in its timing and ending. The pacing was weird to say the least. Its almost two hour run time felt too short, and while that is normally a good thing for films (better to feel short than long!), in this movie’s case it seemed rash. Similarly: that ending. Oh, that ending! That ending almost ruined the entire film for me. Why was it so jammed pack? Why was it not a real ending? Why all the montages?! Clearly the movie was in the cutting room for quite a while–what with notable actors Matthew Fox and David Morse getting very little screen time– and I’m not sure if it made it any better.
Anyway, to sum up, World War Z wasn’t terrible, but it certainly wasn’t great, and if you’re looking for an adaptation of the book, well then, look elsewhere.