I was fortunate to recently receive passes to the screener for “World War Z”. I’ve got to say, it was much better than I had feared. It’s not a perfect movie, but then how many are?
I have a short list of favorite zombie movies. “Shaun Of The Dead”, the original “Night Of The Living Dead” and of course “Zombieland”. All of these offer small sections of the overall disaster. Each focuses on just one group of survivors, usually in a localized geographic area. You may get bits of news or hints about the rest of the world, but the focus is always right where the characters happen to be standing. Not so much with this one.
It starts with a family in a kitchen and within minutes, it expands to the city and shortly after that, the world. It puts the WORLD in “World War Z”. That is it’s greatest success. Sure it’s all Brad Pitt all the way through, but the blur of supporting characters adds to the sense of huge scale. As the hero goes globe-trotting in search of patient zero, the film retains its humanity with brief sat-phone calls to the family he left behind.
Brads’ UN researcher turns the activist motto on it’s head. Instead of thinking globally and acting locally, his focus on his family causes him to think locally but act globally. That reversal is the spring which drives the whole movie. He isn’t playing a hero or an anti-hero. The character is a guy thrust into an untenable position doing what he must for his family. It’s that personal, human touch that redeems what could have been just another slaughter fest.
I don’t want to give away too much, so I’m going to stop here. My personal verdict. Definitely worth going out to the theater for.