World War Z (2013) review
When the genre of zombie films was first born, the budgets were small and likewise was the audience. Now, there seem to be zombie films coming out every few months, and it can be a hard task to filter out the good from the just plain awful.
A change in the mini-budget and audience alike came around when World War Z hit our screens. We were presented with a big budget, actors we knew, and a mother load of background actors willing to Z up and rock the blood. So when I first heard of this unfathomable feat of cinema – I knew I had to watch it.
Where there is a zombie film there must be a cause, right? Well at the beginning of the film – which is when we are usually given the monkey disease explanation to the outbreak – nobody actually knows the cause of these drooling flesh eaters. In fact, finding the cause IS the storyline, which makes it different to other zombie films right away. We follow Gerry, a retired United Nations (UN) investigator, around the world to find the source of this infection which is believed to be in South Korea initially. That’s right — the fate of humanity lies in the hands of a man called Gerry.
The film quickly gets to the point and doesn’t wait around for you to get comfortable – we see Philly get taken over within the first few minutes. The tension grows and even without seeing much of the zombies, we feel unnerved and unsafe. These scenes set the tone for the rest of the fast-paced film along with gore – or lack of.
If gore is what you want – pure unadulterated savage violence – then this may not be the film for you. For a war film – it’s even in the title – we don’t see that much zombie warfare. We see them screeching and gnashing their teeth but you don’t see any poor civilian get devoured, so its a no guts film. Despite the mega bucks spent on this summer blockbuster, the gore is not in plentiful bounds so keep that in mind when deciding whether to watch World War Z. However, despite its lack of gooey SFX, the zombies in general, are very well done, they look like an actual infection has caused their state and have an authentic touch.
After being coerced into going on a mission – things get worse for old Gerry when a hoard attacks the navy seals there to protect our savior and we find out that the source originated in Israel thanks to an arms dealer who is co-incidentally there at the right time. Once in the next destination, now with a fancy wall to protect them – they confess they knew about the infestation before it hit them the previous week thus prompting the build of the wall, but just didn’t bother to tell anyone else. Thanks, guys! They know this by intercepting messages from India about the army fighting ‘Demons’.
After a big zombie hoard attack in which they scale the new fancy wall, making Israel a new zombie infection hub, Gerry notes that the zombies avoided those who were ill or elderly, due to them not being viable hosts for the infection. A final, but disastrous, plane journey crashes them in Cardiff just in time for Gerry to suggest injecting themselves with a deadly but curable disease to mask themselves from the zombies. Simple no? Actually, the pathogens are located in the zombie stronghold of the facility. Great.
Without the ability to identify the strains in storage, many of which could kill him, Gerry enforces the f*** it rule and injects himself with one of the samples – finding himself still alive. His theory is proven correct as the zombie enters the vault but does not attack, allowing him to walk back to safety with more samples. The film ends with Gerry noting that this is only the beginning but implies with his newly proven theory the world is on its way to winning this war.
This parting line – with it only being the beginning of something – shows that there may be some further installments in the works which may or may not be a good thing. It holds it’s own but to further the franchise may be a mistake unless they decide to take a step back from a character driven zombie film and add a dash more gore. I mean, its what we all want to see.