World War Z movie poster. Mass hysteria leads to massive excitement.

World War Z has certainly raised the bar for all zombie genre films to follow. Its unique conception, solid story line, and wall to wall action make this one of the summer’s best attractions. There are many things done right in this movie but it is what they don’t do that makes it just as successful.

It is current day and a pandemic is sweeping the globe, one that is creating mass hysteria, causing governments to throw up their hands, and turning normal citizens in to stark raving zombies.  Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) is a retired United Nations employee brought back into the fold to help solve or at least aid in explaining this phenomenon. His ability to think on his feet and survive in the worst scenarios makes him the go to guy. He is reluctant to serve but knows it is the only way to save his family and possibly mankind.

Before you decide to waive a dismissive hand at the mention of “zombie film” please note that this is more an intense thriller with zombies as an added bonus. If you are used to those slow moving, twitchy, almost laughable zombies of the past be prepared to experience a new breed of the living dead. Director Marc Forster has created something captivating with his creatures. They are superfast and move in waves that you would expect to see in insect infestations. They swarm in on the living as you would imagine a field attacked by locusts. It is visually stunning and heart racing at the same time.

But again the story is the best part of this film. Lane has to travel from nation to nation, all while staying a step ahead of these monsters, trying to figure out the root of the pandemic and cultivate a cure. Pitt is solid in this role. He gets in to the character and you can read the concern, fear, and frustration on his face. Under all of that though is a calm demeanor that you would expect a seasoned agent to have.

What it also does well lies in what is left out. There is little of the gore and guts that accompany most films of this nature. Yes the zombies are terrifying to look at and they bring a horrific visual presence but there is nothing campy or cartoonish about them. Also the action is intense but void of graphic elements.

It is rated PG-13 for intense frightening zombie sequences, violence and disturbing images. The film makers could have gone overboard with the imagery but kept it just subtle enough to appeal to a more mature audience. True you would not want your younger family members to see this unless you wanted an extreme electric bill from keeping all the lights on for a month. But with the lack of bad language and no sexuality, this is a film that many can watch with older high school family members with no awkward moments.

I give it 4.5 out of 5 bike rides. It is a step in the right direction for the genre and as for summer films that are full of remakes, spinoffs, and sequels; this one gave us a perfect original outing.


Matt Mungle

Review copyright 2013 Mungleshow Productions. Used by Permission.

{module Possibly Related Articles - Also search our Legacy Site}