Once in a while a film comes along that isn't anything special. In fact it pretty much champions mediocrity, yet it’s entertaining enough that at the end of it you feel content with the time spent watching it.
World War Z which is loosely based on a book by the same name is a zombie apocalypse film on a grand international level. For once, as is the case with most Hollywood films, everything doesn't just happen in America, and we get to travel the world along with Gerry Lane, played by Brad Pitt, an ex-UN Special Investigator trying to find a cure to the epidemic that is quickly changing mankind into the living dead, one bite at a time, and has brought the world down to its knees.
The film doesn't waste time and hits the road running right from the start with an onslaught of a Zombie wave in America and continues to do so till the very end as we visit South Korea, Israel, and UK. On the whole, World War Z is basically a change of scenery every half hour with the same issue of zombies attacking and our hero miraculously coming out of all situations, including a confrontation in an airborne plane, with a few cuts and bruises and yes a piece of sharp metal punctured through the side of his stomach. Still, the events and locations change at enough speed that not much time is given to the audience to ponder about the lack of a strong storyline.
As a film, it is works beautifully. The open credit scene along with the background music instantly pulled me in. The special effects are for a change not at all tacky and although most of the zombie attacks are too fast and shaky, it does bring about a sense of hysteria that is taking place all around. Brad Pitt plays his role marvellously because being a top UN investigator he is neither your everyday hero taking down hordes of zombies all alone and nor does he play the know-it-all saviour. We do slowly, amongst all the chaos, see his investigative skills do their part and in the end save the day, more or less. I also loved the way a “cure” is found for the pandemic. It’s not straight forward and although the film leaves enough space for a sequel, if there wasn't one, I would be fine with the ending.
World War Z isn't without faults. There are small episodes throughout the film that irritate and seem out of place. The zombies who unlike most of their counterparts are fast and fearless take a little while getting used to as they come across as cartoonish at times. There is also a lack of animals in the film, and unless I missed out on an explanation, it seemed a bit odd. Unless you take everything the film throws at you with a pinch of salt, you won’t enjoy it.
With zombies taking over each and every entertainment aspect of our lives over the last few years, my initial thought about the film was “Oh dear, not another one”. But, I’m glad to say that World War Z manages a fine balance between scary jumps and gore, keeping both to a minimum, and focuses more on an overall picture that proves to be amusing and engaging.