The Hollywood media likes nothing more than a troubled production. Like circling carrion, they’re ready to pick the bones of a dying movie come opening weekend. Now here’s the thing. World War Z bucks the trend, but let’s get one thing straight – the closest this movie comes to the book it’s adapted from is the title. But that’s not a bad thing.
Cards on the table, I’m a huge fan of the book. It’s one of the few titles I’ve read more than once and that’s praise indeed coming from someone whose only real interest in printed media usually involves sequential artwork and speech bubbles! Way back in 2006 I was excited to learn that Brad Pitt’s production company had acquired the rights to the book and have been looking forward to this movie ever since. It’s been a long wait, but one that, I believe, was worth it.
This is “Hollywood-does-zombie-movies” and definitely a Brad Pitt vehicle (but come on, he is very easy on the eye!) – and if both of those statements fill you with dread, that’s a shame. There will be those that point to its troubled production or its scant regard for the source material as reason enough to leave well alone, but I urge anyone with the slightest interest in this genre to give it a go. Marc Forster has done a solid job in bringing the apocalypse to life on a grand scale. There are moments within the movie that for any other production would be a marquee shot, but are used here as almost throw-away visuals. They’re not too concerned with the minutiae, this is the zombie apocalypse writ large – something fans of the genre have not really seen before.
That’s not to say we’re not invested in Gerry Lane’s journey. The sense of dread at times is palpable and the viewer is certainly sucked into the horrific mayhem that is growing all around our principle. The British Board of Film Classification have rated this a 15 certificate, giving its insight as “Contains sustained threat and strong violence” and I would not disagree that. I certainly experienced an elevated heart-rate for a sustained period of time! So don’t be put off by the nay-sayers. World War Z works. It was worth the wait!