Z is for Zombie

Have you ever seen a zombie movie before? If so, then you've probably already seen World War Z. But even though you've probably seen this movie ten times before, something tells me that won't be a problem for the audiences of today because they'll get precisely what they expect....and little else. That's not to say there aren't some decent thrills or real moments of tension, there absolutely are...however, there's pretty much little to no  originality to be found here. Mankind contracts a mysterious disease, mankind turns into zombies, zombies attack. Repeat. But what sets this apart from all the other times this has been done before? Not a ton. I won't lie though, I can't say I wasn't entertained by the majority of the film even if the characters were completely two dimensional. I do believe World War Z is fun, just ultimately forgettable.

One thing the film has going for it, unlike last week's blockbuster Man of Steel is that I felt like the trailer didn't over spoil really nice moments. Then again, maybe I just didn't obsessively watch the trailer for this movie like I did for MOS. It was just kind of a nice surprise to have the film structured differently than I was expecting...yet that surprise kind of relegated characters that appeared to have a bigger role in the advertising, sidelined in the actual film....which makes it kinda feel like their purpose was pretty much pointless. [SPOILERS highlight to read] The wife is given nothing to do, but stay on a Navy ship until Brad returns, but THANKFULLY that means her two stupid kids were also relegated to be there as well. Had they been in the movie as much as they were in the first half hour I probably would have lost it... they're up there with some of the most annoying movie kids I can think of. [/end SPOILER]

To be honest though, it was hard to really relate or root for any character in this film. The action starts almost right from the get go and we have no time to establish who these characters are and why we care if they live or die. Unless a screenwriter plans for some really nice moments along the way that help us get to know a character after calamity strikes (like for example in The Impossible, a film with a brief setup as well) it's really hard to care about someone in such an expendable movie when we have no idea who they are.

The lack of setup didn't just hurt the characters though, it hurt some of the plausibility of the things that you as an audience are kind of forced to go along with. Early on you don't see any time for adjusting to this new crisis. People pretty much act immediately like they do in all other zombie films....and in fact maybe even worse! For this film to be based on realism as it seemed to be the intent with the initial focus on one everyday family (and also since it seems like the inspiration for the whole thing was the Miami attack!)....it'd be nice to have a more gradual transition into mass hysteria. Once things get going this can mostly be forgiven, but it definitely doesn't make the film as strong as it could be. When it comes down to it, you've seen this movie before and you've seen it done better (my vote is for Zombieland since it boasts action AND characters with depth.) That said, it's a fun enough flick as long as you don't take it too seriously. Just know that you'll have forgotten it in a week or so. EMILY RATING: 7/10.


Sarah said...

Why DO they make so many children in the movies so irritating? Can't they find another way to make the audience want to pull their hair out?

Emily said...

I was wondering the same thing. It has made me contemplate the idea of a most annoying kids in film list.

Johanna said...

I vote for the kid in The Kid. And the one who wins is his sister....because I love her in Signs.

I won't see this. Thanks for the review. But I wouldn't have seen it anyway. :)

Unknown said...

Hi Emily, Pat here.
I'm so glad you critiqued this. I'm not usually a Zombie fan, but the lure of Brad Pitt had me wondering if I should. Somehow I felt if Brad was in it, it had to be better, right? Glad to know the answer is no. Now, on to the topic of annoying children. I just watched 'The Zookeeper' with Sam Neill. Heartbreaking movie except for the kid. The whole time I just wanted him to leave the zoo and go back to where the war was. Just get off the screen now! The poor kid's acting really detracted from the movie.

Emily said...

Aww Pat I'm so glad you're still reading! I've been meaning to email you back but I keep forgetting (I suck.) Yeah I mean it's kinda entertaining...but ultimately forgettable. Haha and I was ACTUALLY just about to start a post on the Top Ten most annoying kids in film :)