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on 7 July 2013
The world ignores the signs of global disaster and the next thing you know there is a world wide zombie (closer to rabies) pandemic.

Brad Pitt,who is now a family man, must save the world to save his family. There is some background noise that would indicate the zombie outbreak might be caused by how man destroys the environment and ignores the signs (global warming, wink, wink, nudge, nudge.) The world is thrust into anarchy, while the military exists.

Brad must look for the original virus somewhere in the world to find a cure. We discover N.Korea is unaffected because they pulled everyone's teeth. Israel is unaffected because they have a great wall around their country, but apparently cold isolated places like Greenland are infected. The only reason I point out these inconsistencies is because the film writers went to great length to make the film realistic. Oh yes, if you have a lot of people on a ship, they share beds and sleep in shifts.

I enjoyed the film more as a pandemic film than a foot dragging, flesh eating, living dead, rotting zombie film, because that is what it was. I would say if you don't like Brad Pitt, don't see this film. There is very little screen time that doesn't show his face. Should make for a good video game and a decent sequel.

Parental Guide: No f-bombs, sex, or nudity.
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VINE VOICEon 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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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 quality....as 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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on 27 June 2013
Not a big Brad fan really, but I'm a Zombie film addict so I visited the local Vue with partner and 'we' chose this film from a seemingly bad list of currently showing films that were on.

The action and special effects are actually often spectacular, and there are suspenseful moments even if the plot is basically the same as every other Zombie film. CGI is a somewhat obvious in some scenes but nowhere near as bad as in some recent popular blockbusters, so quite forgiveable. Plot is atrociously predictable and you really do know how it is all going to pan out way before the credits...but that's because it's a Zombie film...that's the fun of it.

Brad Pitt is okay in it. Too many 'aren't I gorgeous' close up shots for my liking, but others will no doubt see it differently (I think one of his best performace was in 12 Monkeys myself). Mireille Enos from The Killing seemed a weird pair up as kid ladened partner of the 'man who saves the world'. She has a bit too much presence for the roll and it felt uncomfortable watching her as the worried stoic wife in every scene.

Not anywhere near as graphic as other Zombie movies, which was somewhat of a let down actually. I don't know if a Zombie film really should be so accessible. Anyhow, I enjoyed it overall nonetheless. Picked up the blu-ray dirt cheap (as you should for all zombie movies) and the picture quality is excellent and sound is also pretty good as well.
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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 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 15 April 2015
I bought the book on which the film is based from Amazon and so I was excited to hear that it was being made into a film. I wondered how they would adapt the book since the chapters are separate stories in their own right and there is not a Brad Pitt character, in fact other than the title and zombies the book has little reflection of the book.
Anyway, the film has it's exciting moments but be prepared to suspend your belief. A plane flies all the way from Israel and crashes in Wales within walking distance of a WHO laboratory which just happens to have all the things for our hero to use to discover how to confound those pesky zombies.
Visually a nice film, but please God if there are zombies, please don't let them be able to run.
A good film to wile away the hours but the book is really scary. I now find that when I go into a building I am assessing it mentally to see if it would withstand a zombie onslaught.
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on 22 October 2013
Firstly, there's nothing (in my mind) inherently interesting about Brad Pitt in and of himself. He's a very good actor, and when he gets good parts he's very engaging (Fight Club etc...). But in this, he's Mr.Bland floppy haircut. He's got no character, and that's one of the biggest problems in this film. When there are interesting characters, they're given about 2 minutes of screen time. Then it's back to Mr.Bland and his tedious quest to bla bla zombies bla bla cure. It's just Brad Pitt wandering around looking pained. This is a Brad Pitt vehicle, not an adaptation of Max Brooks book of the same name. This is 'Benjamin Button', but with zombies.

Quite often with these kinds of films, I like to watch the making-of extras on the DVD so I can listen to the filmmakers explain themselves. With this film, someone (the Director, I think) spoke about having the family element in it to create a sense of drama about Mr.Bland having to leave them and go find out how these zombies were created. To me, that is one of the problems with this film. Shoddy paint-by-numbers script writing. See, Walking Dead had Rick concerned about his family. Walking Dead works because the family aspect is an integral part of the show - it's organic. This feels ham-fisted and lazy. Like, "Oh, see, he's a family man! CARE ABOUT HIM PLEASE!!" And then several disjointed scenes in various places around the world.

Really, there's nothing much to differentiate this from any other bland zombie film.

It's a very difficult book to film - primarily because it's comprised of a large collection of small stories. And you can't do that in a film, at least not in a way that will make the film engaging. It's called 'World War Z' because the stories take place all over the world. Hence, why this would have made a better TV show. Each episode covering a different small story around the world.

And I dread to think what the original ending was like, considering that Damon Lindelof was called in to make the actual ending watchable. I actually liked what they did though - the idea of it anyway, and the much smaller 'sacrifice' element they had. I believe the original ending was one of those OMG ZOMBIES EVERYWHERE FIGHT FIGHT CGI BUILDINGS COLLAPSING EVERYWHERE EXPLOSION endings you get nowadays.

I liked the little speech the scientist guy gave about nature and clues and whatnot. I also liked the whole Jerusalem part, and the image of the zombies piling up on each other to get over the wall was fantastic! As usual with these kinds of films - lots of small clues to what the film could have been.

But, overall, MEH! (Yeah, I know, check my other reviews and I've only reviewed films I dislike so far! Seriously, I do actually like films! I just seem to find myself compelled to review films that urk me over films I love! Perhaps I should actually go review a movie I love for once...)
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