A Zombie movie, much like any other apocalypse movie, is predictable. It invariably starts peacefully, quickly turning on its head with some gore and then keeps going from one action set piece to another. Here’s where Zombieland was innovative. It started with the most hilarious ways to save yourself from zombies. Then there was Shaun of the Dead, which made ZomCom movies really cool! But the most horrific zombie films e.g. Dawn of the Dead, 28 Days later, Rec and even popcorn fare Resident Evil, are films where tension builds over time. World War Z throws you into the melee and then eases the tension when you most want it to be terrifying!
So what’s it about?
An ex-UN agent (Brad Pitt) is dropping his wife to work and kids to the school, when all hell breaks loose and the living dead start attacking people. But unlike any other Zombie movie, these zombies are fast and furious! They run like rabid dogs, jump and bite, and the bitten get converted to zombies in 10 seconds flat. The first 15-20 minutes of the film are at break neck speed. You are thrown into a colossal outbreak with thousands of people running like crazy and Brad’s family trying to survive. Because of his ex-UN role, Brad has the skill set required to accompany a doctor to the place of origin and find a cure for the viral pandemic. So he sets off on a trip around the world to find the cure. Does he find it? Will the world be saved? Will his family survive? That’s what the film is all about.
The film begins with a real bang. The scale of devastation, the production value, the background score and the frenetic first half make this well worth your money. Though the protagonist, Mr.Pitt, is not his usual self and is quiet subdued, it’s merely his presence that keeps you glued. There are enough twists (though predictable) in the plot and the pacing is sufficiently fast to satisfy your hunger for cheap scares. For an adaptation of a novel, this does seem like the one that gets it right. The credit goes to the vision of the director Marc Foster, as it keeps you interested even when it’s predictable.
What doesn’t work:
Though the movie starts off really well, there is a sense of Dejavu all way through. The storyline is not really too innovative. It’s yet another zombie meet apocalypse meet survival action drama. Even the gore is too low key for a zombie film. There is more blood in a Tarantino drama!! The protagonist is too drab a character. A little bit of charisma would have helped. It’s almost like watching the boring character of Tom Cruise run through the alien apocalypse film “War of the Worlds” ( Now that I think of it, the names match too!!). And even though the screenplay is engaging throughout, it leaves you with a sense of being cheated because there is no big end. It’s almost like the director turned the pacing of the film on its head. Starts off frenetically, keeps up the pace till the interval and then ends on a sombre note coz they ran out of budget! A big boom end would have been really satisfying.
The quintessential question: To see or not to see?
I know we are all bored with the same old Apocalyptic Zombie Genre, but this is quiet a fun ride. You will be surprised with a few huge set pieces in the beginning and the one in Jerusalem! If you don’t question the fortuitous plot twists, scenes that make you go “kuch bhi” and take it at face-value, this is the movie you should watch this weekend. But you must be prepared to leave the theatre with a slight sense of disappointment, coz the film is really a topsy-turvy affair; should have been the other way round!!!
A hopeless FILMantic, a sit-down comic, a cereal killer, chicken lover, who Copys for a living, really!
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