Review: World War Z (2013, Marc Forster)

world-war-z04RATING: 8/10

Director: Marc Forster
Cast: Brad Pitt, Daniella Kertesz, Mireille Enos, James Badge Dale, Ludi Boeken, Matthew Fox, Fana Mokoena, Elys Gabel
Screenplay: Matthew Michael Carnahan, Drew Goddard & Damon Lindelof (Based on the novel by Max Brooks)

To tell you the honest truth, I wasn’t anticipating “World War Z” at all. When I heard the novel was being adapted into a film, I thought: here’s another zombie picture. But as I left the cinema, I said to myself: now that’s how you make a zombie movie. The film wasn’t only smart, but director Marc Forster keeps you intrigued and on your toes throughout the nearly two hour long action packed suspense flick. Brad Pitt always impresses in a film that has hardly any dull moments. It’s a new take on the genre, and I say good riddance to the cheap old tricks Hollywood use to pull on us. “World War Z” is something special to the next generation of “zombie movies”.

Without giving any spoilers away, “World War Z” follows a former United Nations investigator named Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) who is set on a mission to find a cure for the recent “zombie apocalypse” that the world is suffering from. Not knowing much about the “disease” (though the film is marketed as a “zombie movie”, a lot of people in the film is in denial that what they are experiencing is in fact, uhm…zombies), we follow Lane in an adventure around the world, full of heart-racing scenes and stunning visuals.

Yes, I said stunning visuals. Arguable, the film is probably one of the most beautifully shot zombie movies ever made. Cinematographer Ben Seresin shoots the film with such understanding of the source material that his camera work is probably what makes the movie very intense. He catches no dull moments in his work, which is definitely one of the most commendable parts of the whole production. I was a bit iffy with the score, but a modern day horror movie likes to use ominous tones to try and scare us off our feet. The score started very weak, but eventually built up to something similar to music by the end of the picture. The makeup was good, because after years and years of monster films, Hollywood would eventually get that right.

One of the main reasons why I did see the film though was because of Brad Pitt. Pitt to me is one of the many versatile actors of our generation. What I like about him most though is his ability to choose interesting film roles that never makes him boring to watch. Gerry Lane fit him like a glove. Though I never read the book, he portrayed a Lane that was fatherly and caring, determined to do his job for one thing– his family. That’s where Gerry’s whole story lays. Between the action is a heartbreaking tale of a father’s tactics of survival and self sacrifice. Pitt embodies the strength and skill of Gerry Lane with such precision. He owed the movie, like he ought too. The only unrealistic thing was his teeth were too white. But okay, we’ll give you that. You are Brad Pitt, I forget.

The unexpected great performance was from newcomer Danielle Kertesz who plays a female soldier named Segen in the film. When we are first introduced to her in the film, she seems to have minimal importance to the entire narrative. But in the end, we empathise and feel for this character. Not only did Kertesz do her job extremely well, but she left me wanting to see her more. She even out shined Golden Globe nominated actress Mireille Enos (playing Karin Lane), who’s character is written to be the so-called “money making role”.

I judged the book before opening the cover. And that’s something that I should never do. I realized this because I can honestly say that “World War Z” is probably the best mainstream movie to come out in 2013 so far. The dynamic of the entire filmmaking team worked so well and it translated on screen. Marc Forster has proven himself before, but so far in his short career, this can be counted as probably his best directorial work to date. The film makes your heart drop every ten minutes, but that’s something that works for the movie. Though a lot may complain that there isn’t a true climax, I wouldn’t write it off so easily. When you’re living in a world infested with zombies, trust me, every day is a freaking climax. I wish it lasted longer because I enjoyed it. I enjoyed it quite a lot.


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