If some creatures jumping at you and screaming can be called HORROR; if a person impermeable to anything around can be called HERO; if a teeth-crackling something can make a tense situation HILARIOUS; if a dull ‘can’t-fight-back’ swarms of villains with no proper motives or strategies can take you HIGH – then a mélange of all the aforesaid ingredients can be called a MOVIE, at least for its makers.
Welcome to the WORLD of Marc Foster (Monster’s Ball, Quantum of Solace) where mindless action, inventive visual set pieces, fleeting WOW moments and a poor adaptation of Mark Brooks’ novel are waiting for you to entertain. Welcome to World War Z!
Nothing to keep under wraps. The ‘Z’ in the title stands for zombie and the movie is all about tracking the origin of the zombie outbreak and a probable antidote for the epidemic. A former UN field researcher Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) goes on a globetrotting spree to nail them down. Unlike the corpses or zombies that are hitherto seen, these ones are agile; they can run, they can leap, they can break through anything to spread the flu. Wait, they can form a human tower to jump on the other side of great walls and to everyone’s surprise they are even smart enough to bring a helicopter down. Here’s the second welcome to the WORLD of Foster.
Although World War Z has splendid sights and striking imagery (most of it is CGI) loaded with sudden-rush-in-the-blood moments, it loses its steam with building a great story-line and a central character. Brad Pitt carries the same expression and emotion all through the film. And who’s given him such a haircut which he can’t carry! On top of it why the hell he produced the film? This is not Moneyball if he is aiming for an Oscar. It would be great if it narrowly misses a Razzie.
Forster evokes suspense and terror on a small scale – army base on a rainy night, scarlet lit hallways and on a large one – the walls of Jerusalem and unending supply of neck-biting friends at a neck-break speed. He pulled such acts with poise. But what he fails to do is to give Gerry and others a breathing space. They stand as mere functionaries of the plot facing an existential crisis. No one ever said – to fight against zombies you have to act like one.
Even a team of four ‘able’ screenwriters couldn’t work on the guy on whom the whole movie is based on. To some extent they did put a story when they showed that Israel is adept at predicting an imminent disaster – this may be an allusion to 9/11 attacks.
The family drama fell out of place in the film. Though it acted as a connective in a key scene, it’s nothing less than a poor in-film product placement. What happened to the children? They were there in the initial part of the film, but where have they gone after that?
World War Z starts promisingly and tries hard to make its way with the spirit and tone of an apocalyptic thriller with viruses, bacteria, flu. But it fails to demonstrate our fears when we are succumbed to them. This should be the hallmark of any film that operates in this space. It struggles to border on I Am Legend or Contagion, but fails to stay there. When the standards of film-making are set on a high bar, the 3D gambit may not work at times. Everyone is pulling it off, so effortlessly. Remember, it’s a zombie-eat-zombie world out there!view less