The Ninjabot

World War Z is Zombie Chaos on a Global Scale

Posted on June 18, 2013 at 1:05 pm by Chris Teregis


World War Z is a film based off of the smash hit novel of the same name, by Max Brooks.  Max Brooks is Mel Brooks’ son.  Yes, the guy that wrote this globe-spanning, ultimately horrifying, fatalistic zombie thriller was sired by the man who wrote and directed Robin Hood: Men in Tights.  The apple has fallen far from the tree, rolled into an alley where it rotted, came back to life, and ate a bunch of other apples.

I’m going to start by saying that personally, I loved this movie but, (spoiler alert) it has very little to do with Max Brooks’ novel.  It is great zombie movie, but could be considered a terrible adaptation.  I could sit here and be a nitpicky wiener about it, but where’s the fun in that?  Especially when I enjoyed it so much!  Sure, the film has some flaws, but I overlooked them the second that cop from the trailer got hit with a truck.

The Good

Where do I begin?  The film goes from 0 to 100MPH in about five minutes.  You are immediately thrown into chaos as Gerry (Brad Pitt) and his family fight to get off the streets of New Jersey.  Now, you may say world_war_z_12to yourself “Well, they’re just zombies…we’ve seen all types of zombies.”  Shut up.  Not like these zombies…they don’t claw at you, they don’t sneak up behind you, they charge at you in a full blown flailing sprint, and shoulder tackle you to the ground.

This movie isn’t taking place in a small town in England or in a prison in Atlanta either, the film ventures into some of the most populated areas on the planet.  There are literally hundreds of thousands of zombies on the screen at any given moment in time.  It truly captures the horror of the horde of humanity turning on itself and I can honestly say that it does this better than any other film in the genre. Whew, ok…enough about the Zombies, this is a film review.


The story is good.  Comic book writing icon, J. Michael Straczynski’s script is terrifying and personal.  It totally strays from the book, but where it strays in the way of literality, it hones in on the major thematic elements that made the book so great. Brad Pitt does a great job at holding the film together as the leading man, his character’s motives are represented with subtlety and panache.  The film is visually, something to behold. Giant sprawling landscapes filled with undead pop off the screen in crisp clean 3D, and the 3D never feels gimmicky. It serves the purpose of adding perspective and highlighting the scope of the film which was delightful. (I strongly urge you to see the film in 3D, It’s totally worth it.) 

The Bad

While I thoroughly enjoyed this film, that does not mean that it is without it’s flaws. The first of which 1-world-war-zbeing ‘Time’. The film bounces from location to location very quickly. One minute, the cast is boarding a plane in Bermuda and the next, they are landing in South Korea. That’s a 15-16 hour flight with an almost assured necessity for re-fueling. It’s not a huge deal, it just might take you a second for your brain to catch up to the locations, that’s all.

The second problem I had with the film was that it, at times, feels like you are watching a bunch of different sequences rather than a full film. Each new location offers a new set of rules, and challenges for the protagonist and it starts to feel like a bunch of short films, jammed into one.

The Wishful Thinking

Matthew_FoxI wish that I saw Matthew Fox’s face for more that one fifth of a second.  I don’t know who he pissed off on set, but he seems to have been all but edited out of the film entirely.  So much so, that I had to double check IMDB when I got home just to make sure it was him.  I also wish that the film would have stayed a little closer to Brooks’ novel. There was something very unique about collecting first hand accounts of a zombie apocalypse in retrospect, and I think that there may have been a tiny missed opportunity. But who knows? By the way this film is looking, maybe we will see a sequel soon.

So there you have it. I give this film a solid “F**K YES.” Go see it in 3D, in the theater, IMAX if you need to. Don’t wait to rent it, the size and scope will be lost on your home television system. It is a zombie action filled masterpiece that keeps you on the edge of your seat for the entirety of the film. Eerily beautiful and intense, it is shaping up to be one of the best films of the year.  World War Z opens on Friday, June 21st in theaters everywhere.

Chris Teregis is a comedian and podcast host from Los Angeles, CA. You can find his brain-drizzlings on Twitter. @Christeregis

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