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United States, 2013
Directed By: Marc Forster
Written By: Matthew Michael Carnahan, Drew Goddard
Starring: Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, Daniella Kertesz
Running Time: 116 minutes
Rated PG-13 for sequences of violence and action throughout
Short Description: UN employee Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) travels around the world in a race against time in order to prevent a deadly pandemic which transforms people into blood thirsty zombies. Despite his efforts, the virus spreads rapidly across the globe and becomes a serious global threat for governments and social structures. But above all, the virus transforms into the Armageddon of human existence on Earth.
Moments full of action and chaos prove to be very strong positive aspects making this movie ideal for action lovers. Even though the movie in some parts proves to have idle scenario the viewer doesn’t notice it because of the great zombie effects.
The absolute movie star Brad Pitt and the visionary director Mark Forster (James Bond: Quantum of Solace) join their forces and produce a 3D, epic , futuristic and definitely divulging blockbuster movie for viewers who love new versions of ‘world end’ scenarios enhanced with state of the art special effects. World War Z is based on a scenario…that in the future… could prove to be more realistic than we can imagine today…!
The stepping stone for the realization of the movie was Max Brooks’s best seller ‘World War Z’. This book was a phenomenal world class sell-out. Written in a very ‘lively’ way, the book’s whole writing structure is based on witnesses’ story telling making the reader get knee deep into the book’s narration. A ten year old global conflict is destroying humanity and Max Brooks, in the role of a journalist, collects testimonies from the survivors and key players, revealing the magnitude and horror of World War Z. When producers Brad Pitt, Jeremy Kleiner and Dede Gardner read the novel, they felt very enthusiastic about producing a movie based on it.
«5 years ago I didn’t know anything about zombies. Now, I consider myself a specialist on this subject » Brad Pitt comments and continues « Brooks’ novel considers zombies to be a transmitting pandemic like any infectious virus. What happens if everything that we know will face a grass root challenge? What happens if contemporary world structures are going to be seized and prove to be insufficient? How will we survive? »
Certainly these kinds of questions seem to be fundamental; anxiously seeking answers practical rather than just hypothetical. As Jeremy Kleiner said «the global scale- the interaction between zombies, politics and world organizations – are factors that intrigue and confer new characteristics into this kind of action/horror movies..»
Based on the above, the experienced and well known screen writers Matthew Michael Carnahan (‘Lions for Lambs’), J. Michael Straczynski (‘Changeling’, ‘Thor’), Drew Goddard (‘Cloverfield’, ‘The Cabin in the Woods’) and Damon Lindelof (‘Star Trek’, ‘Into Darkness’) started converting the novel into a very promising movie project. Movie’s leading hero is a former UN employee who managed to survive risky UN missions while collecting data in life threatening virus situations in Rwanda and Bosnia. And as it happens in many US action movies, when the hero decides to live a normal life a disaster occurs and he is forced to return and save the world. Once again, an American saves the world in the name of humanity. This part of the scenario seems rather cliché and easy to predict. Because of his expertise, Brad Pit tries to find the source of the virus, while the latter tends to increase its size transforming an ever growing number of people into deadly zombies thirsty for blood. The brutal force and the speed of the contamination prove the contemporary social and governmental structures to be inadequate and definitely unready to deal with situations of that magnitude. A race of time begins, forcing Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) to find the cure in order to save his family, his country, the world.
Director Marc Forster is well known for his cinematic depictions of strong human values and issues such as: family, love, loss, fear of chaos, safety, country, duty, and sacrifice. His humanistic approach to the scenario produces that extra something that transforms the movie from ‘just one more movie with zombies’ to a well structured point of view concerning post modern human issues (globalization, contemporary social structures, virus contamination on a global scale, chaos) by using effectively the metaphor of zombies; a metaphor that provides the movie with that extra ‘spicy’ action kick diversifying it from other movies about viruses or pandemics.
Marc Forster concludes: «Zombie movies were very popular during the 70s. After an absence for almost two decades from block buster movies, zombies return to the forefront. They prove to be a great metaphor, representing a new kind of unconscious reality; they do mirror the misery of the world in a rather enhanced figurative way of mass and brutal expression.»
Besides Brad Pitt, the movie has a very talented cast team. Debuting Mireille Enos (Karin Lane), Fana Mokoena (Thierry Umutoni) working with Marc Forster for the second time (Machine Gun Preacher), David Morse (Ex-CIA Agent) working with Brad Pitt for the second time (Twelve Monkeys) and many more.
And because a World War needs to be spread all over the globe…the movie shootings took place outside the studio in many cities across the world (Philadelphia, US; Glascow, UK; Malta , etc).
Concluding, it could be said for ‘Word War Z’ that is a very interesting movie to watch. Some people may say that it’s nothing but just one more movie about zombies. To a certain point that is true. Others may say that it is a movie full of clichés. To a certain point that is true, too. But, by watching the movie to the end, while at the same time giving attention to the details of the scenario and enjoying the state of the art 3D effects, the viewer can discover a well balanced attempt providing ‘fertile ground’ for political and philosophical thinking by addressing questions that their answers are a lot more closer to our reality than we may think. It may be a happy-ending movie, but a certain quote from this movie should make us think and question the existence of our present ‘truthful reality’.
“This isn’t the end. Not even close.”
Either you are the kind of viewer who likes to over analyze and discover ‘hidden’ meanings and metaphors or the kind of viewer who likes to just enjoy 3D effects , action , and blood blended in a mix of US patriotism…then this movie is for you regardless of your social background. Just grab your popcorn, sit comfortably…and let the movie take you to the path you chose to follow!!