Apocalypse is the Word
For the past few summers the movie industry has been cashing in on the new super hero phenomenon and it seemed like every week some Marvel or DC franchise was rejuvenated on the big screen. This summer however, it’s all about the apocalypse. With “World War Z” taking over the box office on its opening weekend and two big apocalyptic comedies out soon, “This is the End” and the third and final Wright-Pegg-Frost collaboration, “The World’s End”, it would appear that the end is indeed nigh. At least, in Hollywood.
It has become well established that Marc Forster’s “World War Z” fails miserably in capturing the tone or, even, the story of Max Brooks’ novel of the same title on which it is based. However, does this mean that it fails as a film? I would say not. There has been no shortage of zombie films in the past decade and I think many film fans are getting a bit tired of the z-monster, but “World War Z”, I would argue, is a good film which manages to deal with the zombie issue in a relatively new way.
Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) is an ex-UN official whose skills and reputation land him the position of traversing the globe to help find the source and potentially the cure of the zombie virus. “World War Z” is a fast-paced, thrilling film. Although not a true horror piece, it is full of suspense and at times, a scary film.
It is quite a chilling and yet moving piece, which is arguably more comparable with disaster films such as “Children of Men”, than typical zombie horror movies. The film looks at the scenario where the world population is being consumed by the un-dead on a much larger scale than is traditional. Lane moves from America to Korea, Israel, Wales, seeing the effects of the virus on the different nations and the varying reactions to the crisis. His character is a vehicle through which we can be shown this new type of world war. In this way, perhaps, the movie manages to vaguely capture the essence of the book.
That said, it would have been far more daring for Forster to stay true to the book, which has no central figure, but rather moves from chapter to chapter between different perspectives and varying accounts across different nations as the war develops. “World War Z” will probably not go down in movie history as a particularly great or noted film. However, if someone had dared to break out of the bounds of a conventional film structure and do a faithful adaptation of the book, we would have had something really special. Or it could have been a total disaster. I guess we’ll never know.