World War Z (2013)
Director: Marc Forster
Writers: Matthew Michael Carnahan (screenplay, screen story), Drew Goddard (screenplay), Damon Lindelof (screenplay), J. Michael Straczynski (screen story)
Stars: Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, James Badge Dale, Daniella Kertesz
Zombies have never really been my favourite monster. They are just creepy, not scary, just oozy and icky. But when Brad Pitt is in a film you know it should be of some quality at least. And it was quality for the most part.
The story begins with an outbreak of a disease, or infection, or virus, or whatever it is, we don’t really know, but it is killing people and turning them into ravenous bodies for other humans. It’s everywhere, and I do mean everywhere. America is not the only place hit with this cursed disease thing. But don’t worry, because the only man who could find out what is causing this genocide is Brad Pitt. The rest of the film unfolds as Pitt’s character, Gerry, travels across the world trying to find out what caused the zombie infestation and how to control, kill, and eradicate the zombies. The storyline is smart enough to keep you interested. It’s not a straight line to the solution for Gerry and he has to deal with friends dropping left, right, and centre. Clues are slowly revealed, but quite obviously explained for those audience members you don’t really get it the first three times you’re shown the clue. Gerry finds himself following a tough path to solve the zombie problem in the world.
The suspense of the first three-quarters of the film builds quite nicely… until the last 15-20minutes of the film. At which point they ruin all trust and sincerity that they built with me with one scene. It’s probably safe to say that it’s the worst product placement in the history of film, or at least for this year. Brad Pitt standing in front of a vending machine full of Pepsi taking a long drink from a can. Yes, actually. From that moment onwards the filmmakers lost me. I gave up caring about whether Gerry lived or died, I kind of wanted the human race to all become zombies at that point because nothing could be worse than having to sit through a 2-hour film only to realise that you hate our economic system, hollywood, and consumerism for ruining what had been a perfectly adequate action flick up to that point. And then they go and close the film with a bad monologue and montage.
If there is one thing we can learn from World War Z it is that the ending of a film is just as important as the beginning, if not more. It is the end that will be remembered more than the beginning or the middle. Every moment counts in a film and if you have bad product placement and tacky monologues at the end of a film you will be doomed to be ridiculed by everyone in the world, or at the very least, me.
2/5 – would be 3.5 if the ending wasn’t so loathsome.