Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) worked for the United Nations. While stuck in a massive traffic jam, he notices that something isn’t quite right. There are explosions and mass hysteria. He notices that some of the people going crazy on the streets are acting a bit off.
His family is taken to a fleet of UN ships, safe from the onslaught. It is on this boat that Gerry learns that zombies are taking over the planet. Many of the major cities around the world have “gone dark,” having fallen to the zombies. There is seemingly no way to stop them. They consume everyone. If Gerry’s family is going to be allowed to stay on the ship, he must get back in the game. This means reluctantly leaving his family.
The word “zombie” was first used in India in an email. Gerry must go with a scientist and a small armed force to find the base where “Patient Zero” was first discovered to try to find out what caused the epidemic. Only by discovering its origin can Gerry and his team try to find a way to put an end to the spreading attacks.
I have heard rumblings that World War Z isn’t true to the book. I have not read the book. If I were to try to read every book that a movie is based on, I wouldn’t have time to do anything else.
That said, World War Z is not like most zombie movies you will come across. It is not as gory as you would expect from the genre. In fact, there is not much gore at all to speak of. What you are left with is an action packed thriller that focuses more on the story than the gross you out, over the top violence.
The zombies also aren’t what you normally see. Normally, zombies are pictured as slow, plodding undead roaming the streets in search of a tasty treat of brains. In this film, the zombies are very quick. And agile. And they work in hordes. Their goal is not to eat you alive. Instead, they are trying to infect as many non-zombies as possible, spreading the “disease” as far and quickly as they can.
Brad Pitt is the only name you will recognize in this film. He does an excellent job, as always. There is nothing not to like about the guy. I found his character to be believable. As believable as possible in this type of film, anyway. The rest of the cast is there to support Gerry on his quest. And they do a decent enough job. Some seem to be there just to make the task more difficult. Like crowbar guy. He is kind of a bumbling oaf who continuously puts Gerry and his team in peril. I don’t even know how many times I yelled, “Dammit, Crowbar!” as they made their way through one facility. (I honestly don’t remember the character’s name. I just know he had a crowbar. And was making things worse.)
I will say that I found the ending a little weak. Not terrible. Just a little unsatisfying. After the climax of the film, everything just sort of gets wrapped up in a voice-over. It works to end the film, and I guess there really weren’t many options on how to tell you what happens. It just seemed a little abrupt.
Since they left out a lot of the typical characteristics of zombie films, keeping it at a PG-13 rating, you have a film that gives you enough action and suspense to get the story across and still allow you to let your kids watch it.