World War Z  (2013)

The Zombie is the biggest thing in the current horror genre.  In the past, trendy movie monsters included giants (King Kong, Godzilla), aliens (Alien, Predator), vampires (Nosferatu all the way up to, unfortunately, Twilight). Zombies have been around for a long time, but it seems the devotion to them is at an all-time high, with The Walking Dead, various zombie walks and runs around the country, and more and more zombie movies.

World War Z is based on a book, which was "an oral history of the zombie war", a tale of a retired UN investigator on a mission to find out how the zombie outbreak started and how humanity can begin to fight against it. I have not read the book, but apparently one of the hardest parts of translating the book to the movie was the epic scale. Since the zombies spread across the entire globe, the filmmakers had to be able to show devastation on a global scale.

This movie really is a perfect blockbuster, with an A-list star in Brad Pitt, a ton of action, enough touching moments to provide a breather, and really amazing imagery. Things kick into gear within the first few minutes, and the pacing is great. If the "pacing" of a movie is worth mentioning, it's either really good or really bad. World War Z smashed you in the face with long scenes of violence and carnage and fear, then gave you a break at just the right time to let you catch your breath. The breaks didn't last too long before the next wave of hysteria.

Admittedly some of the movie is cliche, and at times predictable. Brad Pitt has a wife and two children who are stock characters, and most of the actions of the members of the Armed Forces seem stereotypical. Despite that, the main storyline and the action sequences are stellar.

There is obviously a saturation point when it comes to any genre, and it will be interesting to see how much longer zombies are the current "it" monster. World War Z should be hard to top for any other movies that try to take on the subject matter.

 

 

On the Celluloid Hero scale, "World War Z" gets a 9 out of 10.