World War Z- Movie Review
As I stated in my review of the book World War Z I was very curious how they were going to make the movie. How do you translate an oral history of an imaginative war into a film? In my head I had the idea of a sort of documentary that followed the man who did the interviews. These pieces would be intercut with flashbacks of what the people are talking about, memories of the incidents.
Though it only took half a minute of the previews for me to realize that the documentary idea was not where they were going to go with this movie. I could tell right away that they were going to go into the action adventure genre. I was disappointed at first. The book and the movie have very little in common. The only real similarities are that the movie and the book are about handling a zombie apocalypse The UN employee in the book is trying to determine exactly what happened to cause this disaster and how it was and is still being dealt with. Where as in the movie he is in a race against time to find a cure to end the spread of the disease.
The movie doesn’t do any justice in translating the most interesting part of the book. I loved the book because of how unique and different it was, it was a first hand account of a war. A war that we could relate back to any war in our world today. It was relatable to everyone in some manner or another. It is an action adventure film, about running around trying to get to the cure that will hopefully save everyone. There are no deep emotions or an array of characters that can show just about every type of person. As I usually do I will say the book is better than the movie.
Now taking a step away from trying to review the movie in connection to the book I want to just review the movie. “World War Z” as a zombie apocalypse movie in and of itself is pretty good. It is a adventure survival film, one that does have some interesting aspects to it.
It follows the formula of many of these types of movies. Disaster strikes and it becomes a race to get somewhere safe. Then it is time to find the cure or way to stall or end the disaster. A formula we all are very familiar with and have seen many times before.
What made this movie interesting to me was first off how it started so quickly. We don’t get any character building time really, ten minutes in and we are watching the characters run for their lives. Again though the dash for life didn’t last very long, only about fifteen minutes or so. In the first forty five minutes Gerry manages to use his UN connections to get his family to a safe place.
Then we moved onto the second step of the formula and that is how to stop or stall the disaster. Gerry goes through a series of places, trying to gather all the pieces he needs. I liked this aspect. He doesn’t go one place and find everything he needs right away. He doesn’t miraculously find the cure and have to fight his way home. Instead he follows the leads that give him small pieces of information and another lead. It is like a treasure hunt, finally leading him to the ultimate goal, a very unique way to handle the whole thing.
The solution Gerry finds isn’t a magical cure. It isn’t a major military strategy that the normal person would barely understand, making it impossible to know if it would actually really work or not. I won’t give the end away, because it is interesting how everything comes together, the solution itself is pretty different as well. Though I am not entirely positive how well it would actually work.
Another aspect I liked was how nowhere was truly safe. Each location Gerry ends up in he ends up having to run for his life again and again. The reasons he gets caught or in trouble aren’t some stupid coincidences that magically happen so that he gets put into danger. He has to run all because of human ignorance or lack of care. Whether it is loud singing that attracts the zombies or simply dropping a suitcase, he always ends up coming face to face with the creatures that could kill him. It is all very believable to me, easy to see how everything can come crashing down in this exact situation. It is never actually Gerry’s fault but the fault of those around him, a situation we all understand well. We all know how difficult it is to fully control those around us especially when it comes to life and death situations.
The movie has an interesting quote about Mother Nature being a serial killer. The lead scientist (who dies in a kind of funny way) says Mother Nature is a serial killer, one out to get caught. Now the whole discussion is to foreshadow the clues that are about to be left throughout the whole movie. But it is the claim itself that I liked. Mother Nature is usually seen as a benevolent force, giving us beauty in trees or wildlife. Yes, she can be destructive but it is a majesty of power, something to be awed over.
This movie makes Mother Nature cruel and sadistic, out to kill and destroy. And many times this can be true, with the way diseases grow and become incurable. One day she will lash out at us in a way we can’t hope to ever get away from. We can’t last forever, nothing in nature does. Where as this movie doesn’t explore the repercussions on humans and their lives it does point out how little time we actually could have left. The last lines “If you can fight, fight. Be prepared for anything. Our war has just begun.” (World War Z) Explains the point well, our fight against Mother Nature is truly just beginning.