Just as I begin to write this, I realize it is going to sound pedantic and a little purile but let me just get it out of my system. Ahem. “The movie was nothing like the book!” See, I’m being that guy. Yeah, we all know that. The book is normally better than the movie because, well, there is typically more content within the book… but that is not the case here. No, World War Z, the film departs radically from the book.. and that is both a good and bad thing.
Taking a slight left-hand turn, World War Z written by Max Brooks (son of Mel Brooks) is probably one of the top-five books I’ve ever read. It is what inspired me to begin my journey into all things zombie. But this isn’t a hack and slash, pulp fiction job, no World War Z is written in such a way, you’d think the author visited some alternate dimension, saw the events unfold, returned and wrote this book as a lesson. Why? Because the book offers events and plot lines that are balanced perfectly against the overarching theme of zombies. No one actually thinks zombies can exist — but this book comes as near as makes no difference to making the reader at least consider the possibility. But this isn’t a review of the book (good as it is), it is a review of the film.
World War Z, the film takes a dozen plot elements from the book and… wait, no it doesn’t. Okay, then the movie takes characters from… nope, it doesn’t do that either. Truth be told, the film takes two things from the book: one location and the title. Yes, if you are going to enjoy the experience of World War Z, then I suggest you put out of your mind the film resembling in any possible way the book.
Brad Pitt is the talent for this film and he does reasonably well in the serious role (though I think he does better in roles like Ocean’s 11 and The Mexican). The actions starts quickly and moves to a fever pitch with little warning. Early on it becomes a thriller, then centers and turns into a mystery plot with vicious zombie action. The film offers a unique and difference “solution” to the zombie threat, one not mentioned in the book — and for that, I give the theater viewing experience a definite plus. It is unique and well conceived. Unfortunately, the plot falls apart late in the film as it turns back into a moment-by-moment thriller then ends all too quickly.
Though the acting is solid, the production value high, and it has some of the best looking zombies this side of wherever, World War Z (the film) stands by itself just fine. Not a fabulous film by any stretch but good enough to warrant a theater visit if you’re in the mood. I would rate this film a solid 7 out of 10.