World War Z Screen 14 articles

World War Z

2013

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  • The personal elements barely come through in Pitt's performance or, for that matter, Forster's typically stilted, shallow direction. Ultimately, World War Z feels more like a wonky disaster film, in the mode of Deep Impact or 2012, jettisoning the cheap thrills of its horror-genre origins for droning talk and empty chaos, with Pitt's heroic-intelligent doings taking precedence.

  • ...Once Saint Brad is sent on his mission to help locate the source of this pandemic, the movie essentially becomes little more than cool set pieces—a siege on a walled-off Israel, a plane flight that gets a little bitey—jammed together and interspersed with underdeveloped family-strife scenes. We get that this fight has got to be personal as well as global, but you need more than cutting to The Killing’s Mireille Enos mooning about on a ship to adding layers of humanity to the mix.

  • World War Z doesn't really know what to do with those larger philosophical ideas. Forster moves the action forward deftly scene by scene, yet the movie ends up feeling sprawling and empty, a "zombies invaded the world and all I got was a lousy T-shirt" enterprise. In fact, World War Z may be an object lesson in the importance of paying attention to small-scale filmmaking within the framework of big-budget wizardry.

  • Why this is an adaptation is anyone's guess, given how little text there is: it's glaringly obvious that the script was patched together late in the shoot, which makes the abstract clues about the nature of the zombies Lindelof's version of Choose Your Own Adventure... That spirit of whatever-the-fuck gives this thing a ramshackle sort of charm, though, at least if you're not invested in the text it's based on.

  • I've never seen anything prey upon people the way the zombies do here: in great, rushing rapids. The enduring image from the advertising is an aerial shot of a tsunami of bodies urgently piling up high against a concrete barrier until it's breached. But like everything else in this lousy, ugly-looking, intensely illogical movie, that moment conveys none of the visceral thrill you need from a zombie thriller, none of the claustrophobia.

  • "World War Z" is just bloody eye and ear candy. I realize it's problematic to review a film on the basis of what it might have been, but when that same film substitutes a vision that's vastly less intriguing and original than the one offered by its source, it's a fair tactic. What's onscreen here is just another zombie picture, only gigantic, and it's not too scary until you get to the end.

  • Why the 3-star rating? Because the film delivers. It’s consistently not-great, yet it’s entertaining; I watched it with a packed house, and everyone seemed to have a good time.

  • Like Forster, who flings the camera around like a bored child with a yo-yo, Z lurches from one frenzied scenario to another on a cinematic scavenger hunt. There’s no procedural flair or finesse shown in establishing a mounting continuum of scenes, just a lot of hectic rushing as catharsis is delayed again and again, like that doomed plane forever waiting for landing clearance.

  • ...An expertly paced action thriller in a familiar apocalyptic vein, on a near-epic global scale and featuring some truly breathtaking set pieces. Yes, it seems severely underexplained and oddly curtailed; indeed, after two hours it pretty much just stops, rather than reaching any satisfying denouement. But “World War Z” is a genuinely exciting thrill ride that only occasionally feels bloated or painfully dumb...

  • World War Z's final act is smaller, quieter, and a lot more suspenseful than the film's trajectory might lead you to expect.... A film that begins with the predicament of one family ends on a similarly minor note, and the gargantuan World War Z recaptures the element that makes it so initially alarming — the intimacy of global horror arriving on the doorstep, all rage, bared teeth and hunger.

  • This isn't really a zombie movie. It's a pandemic movie in which the plague just happens to be zombies. And with the exception of the entire sequence involving the Belarusian plane (which appears to be the precise point at which the reshoots begin), I found it brutally effective at manufacturing chaos restricted to a limited POV.

  • Here our hero finds himself thrust into a global pandemic so rampant that it seems beyond comprehension—and so it remains, of course, for the viewer, fixed to one man’s necessarily limited perspective and denied the illumination of a broader view. Ex-position stutters; action is jagged and elliptical; the film forsakes the luxury of repose... That it never quite coheres seems to be the point.

  • It's essentially a George A Romero film played out over a grand canvas in which the winners are educated, white and bourgeois, and the losers are ethnic minorities, the poor and the elderly. The action is intense and executed with a panache and logic not yet seen in Forster's back catalogue.

  • “World War Z” emerges as a surprisingly smart, gripping and imaginative addition to the zombie-movie canon, owing as much to scientific disaster movies like “The China Syndrome” and “Contagion” as it does to undead ur-texts like the collected works of George Romero.

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