Sunday, 8 December 2013
World War Z DVD
THE FILM. The film is very loosely based on the novel of the same name by Max Brooks. I say very loosely because all they have in common is the title and the fact that both feature a zombie apocalypse. The big name attached to the film is, of course, Brad Pitt. He plays Gerry Lane, a former United Nations investigator who is coerced into returning to help lead the investigation into a world wide pandemic that has infected millions of people, turning them into flesh eating zombies. Mireille Enos played his wife, Karin. For me, the most interesting character in the movie was a female Israeli soldier, known only as Segen, played by Daniella Kertesz. Doctor Who fans may be interested to know that the newest Doctor, Peter Capaldi, has a small role as a World Health Organisation scientist. How ironic that the new Doctor Who is working for WHO! The film was directed by Marc Forster and had a troubled history with rewrites and a delayed release date. Ultimately, it was a box office hit and a sequel is in the works.
THE PLOT. Warning - Spoiler alert! The film opens with Gerry and his family (wife and two daughters) in Philadelphia when the zombie apocalypse kicks off. They are stuck in traffic but manage to leave the city and head for Newark, New Jersey. Gerry's old friend, UN Deputy Secretary General Thierry Umutoni contacts him and sends a helicopter out to bring the Lanes to a US Navy vessel somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean. Here, scientists and military personnel try to make sense of the outbreak. Gerry is flown to a military base in South Korea, where it is believed the outbreak started. He is accompanied by Dr. Andrew Fassbach, who doesn't last long. He slips when exiting the plane and accidentally kills himself when his pistol discharges. A dumb and stupid death! Why couldn't he have been killed by zombies?
Gerry learns that Mossad, the Israeli intelligence service knew a lot about the virus before it went global, so he flies to Jerusalem, where a huge wall has been erected around the city to keep out the zombie horde. He meets with Mossad chief Jurgen Warmbrunn but is forced to leave quickly when the wall is breached and the city is overrun by zombies. Gerry, accompanied by Segen, a female soldier depart on a commercial airliner, one of the last to leave the stricken city. Gerry had helped Segen by cutting off her hand when she got bitten by a zombie. This drastic measure prevented her from succumbing to the zombie disease. He persuaded the pilot to fly him to a World Health Organisation research facility in Wales. Unfortunately, a zombie had stowed away on the plane and Gerry was forced to kill it with one of Segen's hand grenades. Naturally, this caused the plane to crash but luckily, Gerry and Segen were the only survivors and even more luckily, they were close to the WHO facility. Whilst in Jerusalem, Gerry noticed that the zombies ignored a sick old man and an emaciated boy. He surmised that anyone with a terminal disease was immune to the zombies so to test his theory he injected himself with a lethal but treatable disease. It worked and the scientists were able to produce a vaccine to render humanity immune to the zombie virus.
THE VERDICT. Oh dear! Where do I begin? This has to be one of the worst zombie films I have ever seen and believe me, I've seen some bad zombie films. There are so many holes to pick in the plot, right from the start when the zombies first appear up until the ludicrous ending. For a start, the zombies are not as described in the book - slow moving and relentless. No, these zombies are all Olympic sprinters spliced with the DNA of ants so that they can climb on top of each other to scale huge walls. I hate fast running zombies and I particularly hated the zombies in this movie. They just looked so silly and stupid. To me, what was unforgivable for a zombie movie was the fact that we never got to see a drop of blood spilled throughout the film. For fuck's sake it is a zombie film! Where was the gore? How can you cut someones hand off and not show any blood? If I had to describe the film in one word I think I'd chose the word anaemic!
I get the point of Gerry flying all over the world to show that this is a global event but how he gets to his destinations does beggar belief. Can a Hercules transport plane fly from the Eastern seaboard of the USA to South Korea without refuelling? It was established very early on that zombies react to sound so why when we travel to Jerusalem are so many refugees singing at the top of their voices just inside the city walls? Also, why have so many helicopter flights around the city? They're even more noisy. No wonder the zombies outside got so agitated and scaled the walls. Although how they did that left me shaking my head in disbelief! As for zombies ignoring the terminally diseased, what a load of bollocks! Zombies will attack and feast on anyone with a heartbeat! This so-called cure was never mentioned in the book, so why spoil the film with it? This monumental oversight made the ending even more of a letdown.
Oh, and don't get me started on the flight from Israel to Wales! How did the zombie stowaway in the first place? Why was Segen allowed to carry hand grenades with her? And what was Gerry thinking when he threw a grenade at the zombie? Also, are we really expected to believe that Gerry and Segen were the only two survivors of the plane crash? Come on, get real, folks! Credit the audience with some intelligence! I loved Max Brooks' book of World War Z but I hated this film with a passion. As a result, I can only give it a 1 out of 10 rating. Avoid at all costs. Read the book or catch it on TV when it airs but don't waste good money on it. Don't let my suffering be in vain!