|God that's stupid looking.|
Hey everyone welcome back to The Tagline! It's October, and I've been listing into the horror genre since early September, so I figured I'd keep the ball rolling and finally watch World War Z, a movie I'd previously avoided because it had some of the shittiest trailers I had ever seen. Were I to judge based solely on the trailer, I would assert that World War Z were the shittiest movie about zombies ever made, and let's be honest here, that is a pretty damning statement all things considered. Fortunately, this movie isn't THAT stupid, so we're all spared from me having to compare it unfavorably to a movie called zombie poledancers from hell or something. Let's all at least take solace in that. World War Z is a zombie movie made by Brad Pitt, with Brad Pitt, and for Brad Pitt, cashing in on the best selling book of the same name. Allow me to assert an important point however, which is that this movie has little to nothing to do with World War Z, save that they both involve some variety of 'zombie' and also sometimes guys call zombies 'zekes' I guess. In order to get anything but rage and chagrin from this movie, you must forget that there is a book by the same name. Taken as an adaptation World War Z is a ridiculous failure. Taken as just an action movie about zombies, it fares considerably better.
|Panicky people in the streets... you know how this ends.|
Now there are plenty of complaints that one can leverage at any work, and I'm sure that I've approached this issue with the same phrasing before. You've probably guessed it, but I'm about to launch into an enumerated list of complaints about this movie that are trivial and stupid, and then talk about why they hold no importance to anything ever. This list was taken from an article posted on Examiner.com, and was more a crowd sourcing of issues rather than the author's own views it seemed, so I'll let them off with a warning this time.
1) The book was a UN guy collecting stories after the war had ended: Okay yeah, that's true, but on the long long list of arbitrary changes made between the book and movie, this is not one of them. No one wants to watch a movie where a guy talks to a bunch of people about all the scary, tense zombie action that happened IN THE PAST. That is not compelling cinema. For the mob's zombie obsession to be satisfied, obviously this movie has to take place WHILE all the zombies are eating everyone. This problem will segue perfectly into issue number two.
|Waiting around every corner with a fire axe is Brad Pitt.|
3) Instead of using traditional special effects and make-up, this movie uses basically all CGI for its zombies!: This is true, and would be really damning if you spent a lot of time looking at zombies close up. As luck would have it, you basically spend NO time doing that in this movie. Most crowd shots are mid to long range, and even the up close zombie action is all pretty snatch-away, rather than stopping to linger on the grisly details. Gore aficionados will no doubt be disappointed by that, but I sure as hell wasn't. Frankly at this point, zombies eviscerating people isn't shocking or scary, it's just really gross, and I've had just about my fill of it. I'm comfortable moving along, and using all the images from the rest of our zombie-soaked pop culture to fill in the blanks with images of intestines being gnawed by a crowd of screeching revenants. The body pile featured so prominently in the trailers could pretty much ONLY be accomplished by CG, but again this is mercifully a thing that happens for like 5 minutes in the movie, and not every 30 seconds like the trailers made you think.
|The only thing worse than corpses is wet corpses.|
4) Why are the zombies running instead of shambling like the ones in the book: This is easily explained again as a problem with form. In a two hour movie, it is a lot harder to develop a tense running from place to place narrative with slow zombies. The fear and danger from those zombies is that over time they amass, and you get trapped, and their sheer numbers and constant moaning eventually overwhelm survivors mentally and physically. There is absolutely no way you could do that in a feature length film, without forcing the main character into a situation where he would be guaranteed to die (by surrounding him with zombies say) so the movie creators did the sensible thing and made them Dawn of The Dead style sprinters, which allows the movie to be filled with tense moments that are quick to the murder point. While your watching, imagine Brad Pitt running and zombies just kind of stumbling listlessly after him, trailing ever further behind. Not a super interesting scene.
5)America the Beautiful: A lot of critics seemed to feel that the movie was doing a lot of flag waving, but I found the final cut to be pretty much devoid of that kind of patriotic rhetoric (for flag waving please see my review of OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN). If anything, this movie is a propaganda film for the efficacy of the United Nations, because Gerry Lane is not operating as an agent of the US, but rather as a special consultant for the UN. The movie also spends relatively little time actually in the US, so I really think people just love to hate any sign of an American being competent I guess.
|Some lady as: Not Brad Pitt.|
Join me again on Thursday for a bad history lesson!