Friday, June 28, 2013

world war z

perhaps our obsessions with zombies has burned itself out.  for this film, directed by marc forster and produced by its star, brad pitt, forgoes the usual zombie stations and instead presents us with a pandemic of undead people.  those people act like the virus itself as it searches for living people to be new hosts.

a novel concept.  one that was explored by danny boyle's excellent movie, 28 days later [2002].  it appears that forster, a shitload of screenwriters and producers, tapped into boyle's movie to create superfast and strong zombies that are treated as infected rather than monsters.

the premise of zombies as the infected works up to a point.  brad pitt is a rather game actor as he essays his role as a u.n. hotspot agent [it is not really clear what he did for the u.n. before he had a bellyfull of being in the bloodiest parts of the globe and quit] who is more thinker than action hero.

vanity fair published an article last month detailing the troubles and ballooning budget of this film.  you didn't need to read the article to see where the seams are in this movie.  the first third is pretty damn good with a couple of excellent set pieces.  the second third slows down a bit.  the last third looks as motley as the magazine article detailed it to be. 

there is a set up for a sequel.  i'd read somewhere that pitt wants to make this film a trilogy.  ah yes.  perhaps it'll get better with each subsequent film.  the source novel is of course a superior read.  you can see bits and pieces of that novel within this pic.  for example, ham radio operators at the end of the movie.  in the novel there is a few scenes devoted to the horrors heard and experienced by ham radio operators.  instead we get the triumphant cauterwauls of these operators announcing victories over 'undead zeds.'

i would like the dvd to add as extras the cut portions of this movie including the last battle at moscow which i read about in vanity fair.  that scene was cut because it was too bloody, it made pitt's character look like a one-dimensional action hero, and the studio wanted to keep the rating at pg-13.  we get snippets of this battle in the conclusion as pitt's character was using a voice-over narration to plot where we are in the ongoing war.

still, kudos to the forster and the producers for making a zombie film.  the verisimilitude felt right.  after all, if  the world succumbed to such a thing i do believe the military would still be up and running, and there would be pockets of organized humans keeping going.  when the shit finally goes down i'd like to be one of the fortunate few that finds itself on a navy ship protected by distance and armor. 


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