The 'World War Z' movie wan't good, even if you liked it.

Okay so for anyone who isn't an avid reader/a huge zombie fan World War Z is a book that was written by Max Brooks (Son of famous comedian Mel Brooks just FYI) that concerns the world being overrun with zombies (ya don't say)

You might be saying to yourself 'so what? zombie apocalypse stories are a dime a dozen' well the difference here is how it was presented to the reader. Most zombie stories are captured in a more visual medium, partially because a zombie apocalypse isn't usually very interesting to just read about and partially because most of the people involved with zombie based media tend to work in the visual areas of the entertainment spectrum.

Most literature surrounding zombies usually goes one of a few ways, the comedy route a'la 'Pride and Prejudice and Zombies' or a record style a'la '2012: A record of the year of infection' but with World War Z we are presented with a full record of the events surrounding the build up to the zombie world war, the fighting for survival that occurred in it's darkest days and the eventual push back towards a zombie free(-ish) world.

The book presents all of the information from the point of view of an investigative reporter going around the world to get stories about the apocalypse from the people who where in the center of it. This is firstly unusual because you'd imagine the knowledge that the world survived (As made apparent by the fact that the reporter writing the book is still alive) would remove a lot of the tension in a zombie apocalypse story but it's still surprisingly tense in a lot of places.

As the book goes on the point of view bounces between a few different interviewees in different places throughout the world as they recount their particular experiences in each section of the war and ends with some quite jarring revelations in the last chapter (which I won't ruin for you here) 

So now that I've explained to you who do not know why the book was such an amazing work of literature, despite the stigma usually surrounding zombie based stories, I can really dig into telling you why the movie is god awful.

Okay so before I go on I should probably bring something up:


Ah, there we are, don't you just feel better with that out of the way?

So the movie in question is an adaptation (in the loosest sense of the word) of the Max Brooks novel in question starring Brad Pitt in the role of... erm, well he works for the U.N I think, or at least he used to and then he does again or... you know what it's just Brad Pitt, let's call him that.

So the film opens with Brad and his saccharin sweet family having a wonderful breakfast of pancakes together while they dump exposition about Pitt's old job on the audience. They then drive off for some sort of weekend away together and this is when all hell breaks loose.

As they cross the city they live in the inevitable hoard of zombies (preceded by an equally inevitable hoard of panicked civilians) appears to wreck their family picnic with a lot of running, snarling and for some odd reason running flying headbutts...seriously.

So other than the obvious absurdity of the whole flying headbutt thing what is actually wrong with this? I mean lots of films have taken the sort of speedier approach to zombies and although I may not look it I am not a 'shufflers only' sort of zombie purist. The reason that the running zombie is a problem at least in the context of the film is the fact that Max Brooks took an inordinate amount of time and effort to outline his 'zombie mythos' (in fact he took an entire other book to do this 'The Zombie Survival Guide') and that involved a lot of logic that is usually left out when people think about creating zombies.

Firstly Brooks' zombies do start out able to run when they first turn, and have the strength that they where capable before they turned. This coupled with their lack of need for rest and there never ending stamina means that you might think the movie had the zombies down, but not quite. As Brooks' points out human muscles get stronger when they rip during use and reform themselves stronger, (this is grossly over simplified, please don't assume I'm an idiot) zombies however do not have this advantage because they are dead therefore every time they use their muscles they deteriorate and don't repair *BREATH*

In very basic terms this means that almost straight away physical exertion rips the muscles of zombies apart and makes them less and less capable of agile movement. This means that although they may be capable of swift movement at first within a few minutes they will functionally be reduced to the shambolic, shuffling rabble seen in the old Romero movies. Obviously this means that the running and jumping is out of the question, let alone the full on flying bloody tackling.

That is just a microcosm of what is wrong with the film, the introduction of numerous support characters who are swiftly killed off to make room for new ones (worst offending moment being when the young 'sidekick' introduced at the beginning, seemingly for the duration, is killed off within a few minutes when he trips and accidentally caps himself in the head. Lethal ineptitude at its finest) The constant breaking of physical laws so that Hollywood style 'tense' scenes can be levered into the film (At one point a fortified city is over run when the dead make a giant tower of zombies to scale the walls in a matter of moments....what the actual hell) and for the love of god the terrible, terrible twist that was pulled completely out of the films fat sweaty arse (Would say I won't spoil it for you but it was spoilt before it was written. Basically the zombies don't even notice people who suffer from sever illness....and no one but Brad Pitt noticed this) 

As a zombie movie it's just okay, it's not going to be genre changing or earth shattering but hell if you're looking for a zombie film to watch you could probably do a lot worse (try La Horde, best terrible zombie movie with the best terrible dubbing) but as an adaption it could have been something much more than it was, a truly different zombie film that could have brought some much needed refreshment to the stale genre.

Having said that Brad Pitts performance is pretty solid, and the film is at least competently made (from a technical perspective) so despite the fact that I will personally never be seeing the film again, if you're not a fan of the book then you might wanna check out the movie, at least to see that guy trip and cap himself.



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