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4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 23 July 2014
I am also a late comer to this film and I have to say, I'm so glad I came to it! I don't do horror films generally, they DO freak me out and zombie films are just my worst nightmare (with the exception of clowns, clowns are just wrong!). I bought this in an effort to be brave and to ogle at Brad Pretty (not a typo). Well I'm truly glad I was being brave. This film is gripping from the start, when I say gripping, I mean superglue! It is literally minutes before you have no choice but to continue.
Aside from looking good, Brad does quite a good job, he's convincing enough and while I want overly in love with his screen wife in the film, I could've been convinced easy enough. The children in the film make the suspense and tension all the more real and Brad does a good job of convincing you he is the doting daddy.
The premise is that his character is a retired UN officer and that as a consequence of the entire world seeming to go rabid, they require him to assist with the "sustained threat". So it starts. The zombies are literally on steroids and super fast. Only Bolt would have half a hope of outrunning them. No more spoilers though, genuinely one of the best zombie films I've seen, less mindless gore, more story, more action, well worth the few hours!
If you're after gore, go elsewhere, but if your after sustained thrills throughout, a decent enough story and Brad Pretty ogles, definitely the film to choose, even for wusses like me who are terrified of zombies :-/
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Max Brook's book produced a very ride ranging treatment of the "practicalities" of zombie warfare. The film concentrates on some areas of the book but also adds a Walking Dead family (you know the ones, mom seems oblivious to people being eaten, and the kids cannot obey even the simplest command) plus a bad attack of the Noisy Moves (in which even the simplest stroll is accompanied by stuff being dropped, kicked, knocked over or creaking). The result is a simple grab at involvement where a cleverer treatment might have impressed more. The zombies were very good with their ant-like speed and tactics.
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on 1 May 2015
You know that feeling when you sit down to watch a film that you have no expectations of and are not really that bothered about and then are completely surprised by? Well I had that with World War Z. At first glance this was just another zombie film amongst a myriad of sub-par zombie films. I stuck it firmly on my to watch list but wasn't too worried about when.

So it was with great surprise that after 114 minutes I was wondering where the time had gone. From the off World War Z gets straight to the point. No messing about with build up or exposition, that all happens a the film goes along. No this is purely an action horror film and its proud! The action is fast and inventive. It constantly throws you into some tense moments and always feels urgent and dangerous. This is largely down to the epic scale of the outbreak and the way it is portrayed. Big long distance shots showing masses of zombies clambering up walls and throwing themselves at their victims.

This is world wide chaos at its best. Brad Pitt is fairly non-descript but is easy to follow and root for. The special effects are very immersive and some of the zombie effects are suitably chilling. As an action film it works really well and delivers where it counts. A surprisingly entertaining blockbuster!
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VINE VOICEon 22 September 2014
World War Z is a 2013 zombie apocalypse starring Brad Pitt. It is based on the concept from Max Brooks in his book of the same name. The Blu-ray does not add runtime to the theatrical releae. It does have some reasonablee Extras discussing the origin, on-location work, and a bit about the science of contagion.

World War Z is of the modern breed of zombie apocalypse films inspired presumably by 28 Days Later in which the zombies run fast and are an adrenalin rush of danger most of the time. WWZ takes it further than 28 Days by having the zombies show absolutely no regard for their own physiques as they hurl themselves extraordinarily aggressively towards potential victims. They act like aggressive mosquitos and anyone who has encountered mass mosquito attack where the insects care not for their own survival only the opportunity to bite can see the horror the WWZ zombies present.

The film differs significantly from the original book. It is a separate product in the same universe. The plot of WWZ sees Brad Pitt's character Gerry Lane travelling to various international hotspots to try and track down the source of the zombie contagion and hopefully generate a cure. En route thousands of zombies are in his way and dozens of minor characters and extras are killed off. This is a fairly thoughtful but high volume action film with plenty of terrifying action sequences. It is not a character piece.

The story for WWZ was put together by the notoriously mortality obsessed J. Michael Straczynski. His tale is suitably globe trotting taking in Philadelphia, Jerusalem, Korea, and Wales. Apparently the original ending would also have included Moscow. The use of different parts of the world gives the film the world-spanning epic feel the original source intends. It also helps to keep things fresh by using different styles and pacing in each location. Director Marc Forster is to be commended for his varying of the tone so well in each new spot.

The high intensity locations are Philadelphia and Jerusalem. Philly in particular is where the bulk of the action is set. Gerry Lane and his family try to escape from the frenzied zombie horde. The early going is classic action thriller. Pitt is well cast as capable but not a superhero. Gerry Lane uses his brain to solve the early attack and get to safety rather than blasting his way out of trouble. Ultimately though his survival is not entirely in his own hands, something that really plays well into the apocalyptic feel.

The early actions sequences also introduce some of the concepts involved such as the spreading of infection via bite taking 12 seconds. This seems important but turns out to merely be a plot device to add tension into a couple of moments later on. The idea of a complete physiological change in 12 seconds is of course ridiculous given it takes longer than that amount of time for the circulation system to spread something from one point through the rest of the body.

During the early going the pace is relentless and powerful. The Lane family struggle to survive an initial wave then struggle to get out of the infected town. The frenetic speed makes for exciting viewing and fun for those who can cope with intense. It is bleak and tough to watch at times like a good zombie apocalypse should be.

The other large centre of action is Jerusalem. It is also by far the most political part of WWZ. Israel has put up a wall to keep the zombies out. Clearly that's a reference to the Separation Barrier. Combined with the stereotype of the Israelis as being extremely clever and possibly up to something there is a moment where it appears to be heading somewhere uncomfortable. That moment is cast aside beautifully by the visuals of Israelis and Palestinians fighting on the same side. The breach of the wall around Jerusalem is a reminder the outside world cannot be kept at bay forever.

Jerusalem carries a noticeably yellowish palette. Everything about it looks so different to the scenes elsewhere. Amusing to discover it was actually filmed in Malta. The colour difference between the various locations helps to make the journey seem to really be happening. The greys of Philly, yellows in Jerusalem, browns of Korea, and greens in Wales add a sense of differentiation to each spot.

The distinction is more subtle in other matters. The use of language syntax changes slightly between the various locations. The most notable is in Korea where the military vernacular stands out - "I want to see Zekes on the floor" is a particularly good line.

Korea is also one of the two lower intensity locations along with Wales. In these locations the zombie threat is much more the traditional one where survival is achieved by stealth. The dark lighting and largely unseen zombies harken back to classics of the genre in a way that the hordes of computer generated monsters do not during the action sequences.

The action in Wales is a change from the original ending sequence. It is a good, tense bit of cinema. Stealthy survival against unknowing zombies is enhanced by some outstanding facial acting from Michael Jenn. Zombies rarely are able to demonstrate character but Jenn's might be the best zombie of all time. His chattering jaw is amazing and combines well with the sharp turn angles he takes instead of shuffling. A visual sequence stolen from Alien 3 which sees Pitt and Jenn face to face is mesmerising because of Jenn's unbelievable facial expression. It must have taken such a toll to act like that, credit where it is due. That credit extends to a small sequence in the Blu-ray Features which showcase his scene in a bit more detail.

As a one-off zombie appearance, Jenn is among the most interesting of the characters on show which is not to the film's credit. Perhaps the only performance overshadowing it is Ludi Boeken's Jurgen Warmbrunn. As the senior Israeli on show Boeken is spectactular. He has a great look, the only person on show who really looks like they could be running something and with the inspirational spark to be a believable leader. Boeken's interactions with Pitt are all of Pitt's best moments.

Not all the rest of the acting is so stellar. In particular South African actor Fane Mokoena is appalling as the UN Deputy Secretary General. While it is believable that a DSG would be uninspiring, Mokoena is wooden with a really poor delivery of his lines.

Main man Brad Pitt is a little bit of a disappointment. Pitt is a really interesting actor having long ago eschewed his pretty boy image for some brilliant and unconventional pieces of cinema. He has the charm and charisma to fill the screen but here his Gerry Lane is too subdued. There is hardly any emotional range at all with the expressions being reserved for moments of horror. A more enigmatic main character would have turned this film into great rather than just good.

The special features on the Blu-ray are ok. They include three segments. A brief discussion of the source material is followd by a section on the science of infection. It fails to debunk the many errors of fact and the improbability of zombies transforming so swiftly into such completely different organisms. At times it does feel as though there is an effort to describe WWZ as Science, Man. The third feature is the best and follows the production through its various locations. It skips over the difficulties including the change of final writer and the change to the final sequences. However, it is good behind the scenes work to get a feel for some of the places and people involved.

As an action adventure WWZ is a good film. It lacks engaging or memorable characters but is instead a good world-spanning yarn crossing several locations. There is an adrenalin rush intensity to some of the zombie encounters with the start of the zombie apocalypse hurtling towards the protagonists at such an intimidating pace. A good zombie film and a decent action thriller.
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on 2 July 2013
An extremely impressive entry in the zombie genre and for me easily the best such since 1977's Dawn of the Dead. WWZ may break one of the supposed rules of the genre in its almost complete absence of gore but Brad Pitt's film more than compensates with an efficiently plotted linear storyline that remarkably shows no obvious signs of its troubled production, a spectacular sense of scale, a satisfactory balance between action and emotion rare in summer blockbusters and an often intense breakneck pace.

There's a lot that I liked about WWZ, from the way the film utilizes its fast moving zombies as a symbol of the often frightening speed and density of everyday life, to supporting characters who are introduced only to be killed off without any of the bombast you'd have had to endure had the movie been directed by a Zack Snyder or Michael Bay. The emotional heart of the story - UN hotshot Gerry Lane's (Brad Pitt) relationship with his wife and kids - feels refreshingly damped down rather than overblown, believable without being schmaltzy. Rich and famous he may be but there's an interesting grounded quality to Pitt. Casting him as an Everyman sort of character doesn't seem like the kind of stretch it would if you had the likes of DiCaprio or Tom Cruise starring.

The story is a ground-breaking amalgamation of zombie horror and one of those plague stories in which the hero is charged with finding a cure. The plot, which sends Gerry from Philly to South Korea, to Israel and then Wales in pursuit of the infection's source, never feels like it's just marking time. Each location holds a clue and by the time Gerry figures out the ingenious solution en route to the film's climax the story tops even that by forcing our hero to make a virtual life or death decision. The payoff includes what might be the most well earned and enjoyable onscreen drink since Ice Cold In Alex.

The action sequences are sensational with the (rightly) much talked about Israeli siege a standout. The chaos which leads to a hectic chase through narrow streets covered by a wire fence over which swarm countless zombies leads to an even more claustrophobic showdown inside a jumbo jet. The film is genuinely unnerving, often tense - especially the final third - and sometimes jump out of your seat scary. All without any bad language or explicit gore. There's a lesson there.

Littered with unexpected touches - the viewer's shock at a would be suicide jump by a certain character who fears he's been infected and can't bear to see his family in danger, a female Israeli IDF soldier who becomes an unexpected ally of Gerry's and who isn't saddled with a lame romantic sub-plot between her and the star, a nuclear blast viewed from the cockpit of a plane in which no words, no explanation are offered and don't need to be (at this point in the movie it truly looks like game over for mankind) and a last act that eschews the empty spectacle of so many summer blockbusters and goes instead for a tense, low-key and genuinely intimate climax that I'm happy to acknowledge had me on the edge of my seat.

But perhaps best of all is the film's underlying message, epitomized by an Israeli who tells Pitt's character that 'For every life we save, it's one less enemy we have to fight.' This is a movie about the end of the world that unlike so many other zombie films shows people refusing to retreat into small survivalist groups but instead doing their best to save as many lives as they can. It does not surprise me in the least that World War Z has defied months of hostile online sniping to become a big box office hit and I'm very happy it has. Highly recommended.
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On board -Intense Action not seen in the Cinema Release.
Panic sets in as Zombie-Like beings spread their infliction on whoever
they come into contact with and overwhelm.
Special Investigator 'Gerry Lane's only thoughts are to protect his family.
The Authorities need 'Gerry' to help them save the world from the pandemic
that is sweeping humanity aside.
'Gerry' has no choice if he wants his family to remain safe.
Answers are needed ''NOW'' .....'Israel' appear to have got it right....
but how did they know before it all started.......however 'Gerry' will
soon learn 'Israel' have merely delayed the inevitable.
Plenty of frantic and graphic action on board......with it's fair share
of special effects as would you expect within todays films.
Blu-Ray picture we've come to expect.
At the end of the day,,,,,,,it's another Zombie-Movie.
Extras include....behind the scene featurettes,,,,,,an insider look at the
creation of WWZ apocalypse.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 12 September 2013
Firstly, Amazon places reviews against all versions of a film so I must make clear to anyone viewing this that I have reviewed the USA release for the Unrated 3D, Blu Ray, DVD Combo set that you should be able to buy through Amazon Marketplace. Although this is a USA release it is multi-region so the Blu Ray should work in UK players (the DVD is coded Region 1 but most DVD players are multi-region anyway or can easily be made so). The Amazon link for this version can be found here World War Z. [Blu-ray] [US Import]. Note: the UK 3D release out appears to be the same as the USA one so much of what follows will hopefully be of use to purchasers of the UK release.

Main reason for my purchase of the USA set is the earlier release date plus fact it contains the 'Unrated' cut of the film. I first watched World War Z at the cinema and thoroughly enjoyed it and, being a fan of the zombie type films, thought I would get the USA release as it adds another 6/7 mins or so to the running time and comes complete with 3D version as well. A review of each as follows:

Unrated edition: The unrated cut is only available on the standard 2D Blu Ray. Watching it and I had to wonder where the extra scenes were as they were not immediately apparent. This is surely a good thing as the film was just as gripping as the theatrical cut with no obvious filler that didn't need to be put back anyway other than to cater for the market I fall for in buying editions with cut scenes reinstated etc.,! Checking after the film finished and it appears the extra 6 or 7 minutes were spread throughout the film with additional 'gore' for scenes where the theatrical version cut away (head impacts etc.,). Coming from watching season after season of The Walking Dead the unrated version did not seem over the top in anyway - the gore parts were entirely consistent with the zombie type film genre and made for a better film. A few scenes were extended such as the Israel part (and one involving teeth extraction - ouch!) but all was certainly worth putting back in. After seeing both versions I feel the unrated version is the one to go for - not sure if the UK release will get this cut so you may have to hunt down the USA release if you want a copy. Be prepared to pay a premium for this as well - watch out if you use if the price of the Blu Ray goes over the £15 limit or customs/VAT charges become due.

3D version: This is the standard cut - the unrated is, sadly, not available in 3D. This was a huge disappointment as an unrated cut in 3D would have been my preference but, sadly, it is not to be. The 3D version is handled well with some good effects but not one of those demonstration moment type films. There are lots of dark scenes of course and this doesn't help with 3D although I noticed the film was presented with a tad extra brightness which helped with the 3D. The lack of 3D unrated cut is the reason I have given 4 rather than 5 stars.

Sound: This has a lossless 7.1 track so for those of you lucky enough to have such a system you will not be disappointed - this is a fantastic soundtrack and of demo type quality.

Extras: there are a fair number of featurettes which are all quite interesting and especially so for the scenes filmed in the UK. I didn't realise the amphibious landing type ship the lead characters helicopter lands on that serves as the command ship was a Royal Navy Ship! The Glasgow part was explained in terms of how they turned it in to a USA city - all very interesting for a single watch.

Overall this is a great package and highly recommended. Hope that this review has helped out for those wondering if the £30 or so (for the USA Unrated version) is worth it.

Update 21st October 2013: As mentioned the UK release does seem to have the longer 'unrated' cut of the film and the BBFC website states that the film was passed as 'uncut' so you should have the same as the USA release but without the extra cost! If you go for the 3D version you will get the same theatrical cut for 3D and the longer cut for the standard 2D. Unless you want the USA one therefore best bet is to save some money and buy the UK release now it is out.
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on 25 March 2015
Having read the book, it was patently clear a straight forward adaptation was not going to be possible. They could have focussed on one section of the book, or as they have done here, use it as a basis for something completely different. Either is fine in principle, though this has as much in common with the book now as I, Robot does. Quite why they kept the title, I don't know.

If you don't want the movie spoiling for you, stop here with a simple warning: this film is utter garbage. If you want to know why, read on.

The film wants to operate as an outbreak movie, making the link between zombie behaviour and rabies. We focus on Pitt (a UN investigator) and his family, who upon going for a drive into the city stumble into a zombie horde. They escape by means of being rescued from a rooftop by helicopter, sent by the deputy UN chief who happens to be on good terms with Pitt (I say Pitt as he failed to disappear into his character). This opening stanza is passable, relying on the cheap trick of zombies popping up when you aren't expecting them to cement the suspense.

They are taken to a military boat at sea, where we learn about the scale of the epidemic. The fleet is the American command centre in effect, with those rescued forced to contribute or be sent to a refugee facility which we are lead to believe is very dicey. On this basis, to save his family Pitt is coerced to go with a, not mad but rather gibbering, scientist to investigate the source of the outbreak to help find a cure.

This lads too a pointless set piece in Asia which forces a bit more globe trotting into the film; Israel here we come. We get a bit more insight into the origin of the disease, but not much, however it isn't long before another fight sequence is very obviously forced onto the screen. The city was ready for the outbreak with huge walls and a strong military presence which has thus far kept the zombie at bay. Despite the impressive zombie horde presumably knowing for quite sometime that humans lie within the walls, refuges somehow access a tannoy system and have a sing song which is so loud that the zombies redouble their efforts and climb the walls in sufficient numbers that they manage to clambour over the top. The dozy military miss this until it is too late, forcing Pitt to flee on a jumbo jet, saving a woman soldier who does remarkably well for having just become an ampute sans anaesthetic. Other soldiers who helped him needlessly stand by as the plane leaves without them, presumably sealing their fates.

Pitt has an epiphany and the plane heads for a WHO research facility in Cardiff. It transpires that a zombie snook onto the plane, which creates panic. Pitt's solution is to throw a grenade at it, leading to a plane crash somewhere in Britain. Miraculously, Pitt and his amputee friend survive this; just as well as Pitt needs a helping hand (pun intended) walking to the WHO facility due to being impaled by debris. His sense of navigation is impeccable as he manages to find this unfamiliar building in a foreign land whilst avoiding any zombies, collapsing only upon reaching his destination.

Suffice to say, our hero is able to implement his plan having recovered remarkably well following his ordeal, as the film relies on sneaking past numerous zombies then outrunning the speedsters despite the team member's respective injuries to reach its conclusion. At the end Pitt is reunited with his family at the supposedly dicey refugee centre in Nova Scotia, happy days.

The film fails to properly examine anything of interest, such as how the outbreak really began, how civilians survived including food supply and law and order issues, how such an epidemic might ultimately be contained, how different cultures responded to the crisis, and how civilisation might recover from this episode. An entirely pointless, superficial film with reasonable FX, no character development, lots of plot holes, little suspense and few memorable sequences.

If we buy other product types with which we are unhappy we can return them; why is this not the case with online films, especially when the option to rent is not there? Amazon, sort it!
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on 29 January 2016
Great Movie...This will be my 3rd Time Watching this, Most probably underated Movie of 2013..The only thing that was disappointing was the ending..had the film had a better ending then most certainly would have been the best of 2013 so in that sense just falls short but great film nontheless..
As always perfect Picture Quality on Blu Ray 5/5 and DTS HD Audio and with the added bonus of the Extended Cut..
Recomended as i only got it for £1.90...
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on 5 January 2015
What an absolutely fantastic movie!
I remembered this coming out at the cinema but, not being a fan of the zombie genre - in fact, I loathe it, it's dull and stupid! - I didn't really take all that much notice. But it was always there, niggling at the back of my mind. So, on a whim, I decided to take a punt - it was only a fiver, so, not that much of a risk - and get it on DVD.
Wow! Am I glad I did!
I can't stop watching it. No blood; no gore. No ridiculously un-scary zombies shambling about at minus two miles per hour. Everything I hate about 'proper' zombie movies is gloriously absent from World War Z. And in its place we have one of the most epic, large-scale actioners I've ever seen. Never mind being TOLD by the characters that the world is overrun by the undead as they valiently battle a small contingent in a shopping mall or something, in this movie we get to SEE the world overrun.
The opening Philadelphia set piece is amazing. The Jerusalem one is just plain addictive.
The only minor gripe I might have is with the third act. Usually action movies crank UP towards the end. This one cranks DOWN. After the mind-blowing action of acts one and two the third act is more about tension. It's not a problem. It's just different.
Seriously, don't do what I did and let the online reviews put you off.
If you like gore and brain-eating, then, admittedly this probably isn't for you. But if you're more mature than that and enjoy a good story excellently told then take a chance on this one. You won't be disappointed.
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