World War Z – Not a Review

I saw World War Z on Saturday night, and thoroughly enjoyed it. But, I have done way too much writing today to feel like putting together a proper review, so the following is really just me jotting down some meandering thoughts.

Before I get to the sort of thing that might be considered spoiler-y, if you are trying to decide whether you should go see it here is my simple answer. Yes. Expanded a little? It’s a very well put together, action packed movie and if you are looking for 116min of escapism (plus the usual drawn out “pre movie entertainment package” – which in fairness has a trailer for Man of Steel that knocked my socks off) then this is money well spent.

But, if you are going expecting even a loose adaptation of the book, you will be disappointed. There really is very little of the novel in the movie.I spotted a few references here and there, but you would definitely say it is “inspired by” not “based on” the book..However, I loved the book (I have read it multiple times and it is one of the reasons I fell in love with the zombie genre), and I managed to see past that to really enjoy this film – and if I can, most people should be able to.

It’s a very well put together and polished movie, with a great atmosphere to it, and some stunning action sequences. The dialogue is brisk, there are some nice emotional moments and the supporting cast do a wonderful job. So, I feel I got way more than my money’s worth and I am more than happy to say – go see it. But, if you haven’t – read the book!



  • I am not sure that I am sold on the idea of fast zombies. I really can’t imagine anyone surviving more than 5min in a world of zombies that move this fast!
  • In my panel at Continuum we were using this as proof that zombies have gone mainstream, and after seeing it I am even more convinced. Aside from the fact that Brad Pitt is in it, it makes no apologies for being the movie it is. There is no deliberate B-grade movie apologism, or tongue in cheek poking fun at the genre or self referential humour.. They are treated as seriously as any other threat in any other Hollywood blockbuster.
  • And, really, it is a standard Hollywood disaster movie. For tornadoes, or a super virus, or volcanoes, or a new Ice Age, they have just inserted zombies. It’s not a “zombie movie” in the same way that “Day of the Dead” or “Zombieland” or even “Shaun of the Dead” are.
  • It’s interesting that they don’t try and explain the cause beyond it being Mother Nature striking back.
  • I choose to believe that it is Torchwood that Brad Pitt ends up at in Cardiff, and they play a major part in saving the world.
  • When he is trying to work out what killer bug to inject himself with and can’t communicate with the control room, why doesn’t he write “Two shakes of the camera for yes, three for no” instead of “Tell my family I love them”? Seemed obvious to me. He is lucky he didn’t end up giving everyone Ebola.
  • The level of gore is extremely subdued, especially if you compare it to “The Walking Dead”. There is excellent and gruesome make-up, and lots of things jumping out to scare the crap out of you in your seat, but I don’t think there was any intestines being feasted on or the like.
  • The thing that I find hardest to believe is that a UN official would have any say on board an American military craft. PItt’s boss seems to be treated with much more respect!

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