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World War Z

USA 2013
produced by
Ian Bryce, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Brad Pitt, David Ellison (executive), Marc Forster (executive), Dana Goldberg (executive), Tim Headington (executive), Graham King (executive), Paul Schwake (executive), Brad Simpson (executive) for Plan B Entertainment, 2DUX², Apparatus Productions, Latina Pictures/Paramount Pictures, Skydance Media
directed by Marc Forster
starring Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, Daniella Kertesz, James Badge Dale, Ludi Boeken, Matthew Fox, Fana Mokoena, David Morse, Elyes Gabel, Peter Capaldi, Pierfrancesco Favino, Ruth Negga, Moritz Bleibtreu, Sterling Jerins, Abigail Hargrove, Fabrizio Zacharee Guido, David Andrews, John Gordon Sinclair, Grégory Fitoussi, Jane Perry, Lucy Russell, Mark Holden, Tim Berrington, Konstantin Khabenskiy, Michiel Huisman, Lee Nicholas Harris, Ann Ogbomo, Jonathan Howard, Mike Noble, Ernesto Cantu, Vicky Araico, Graham Hornsby, Nick Bartlett, Kevin Kiely jr, Ruari Cannon, Ryen Perkins-Gangnes, Khalid Laith, Noa Bodner, Assaf Ben-Shimon, Gil Cohen-Alloro, Yaniv Rokah, Shaul Ezer, Linoy Aynesaz, Efrat Avni, Maisam Masri, Renu Setna, Ori Pfeffer, Julia Levy-Boeken, Imran Mraish, Yousef Hayyan Jubeh, Josh Wingate, Troy Glasgow, Richard Thomson, Ewan Ross, Song Xuan Ke, Christian Wong, Denis Ischenko, Nikola Djuricko, Elen Rhys, Paula Videniece, Doron Davidson, Lee Colley, Michael Jenn, Sarah Amankwah
story by Matthew Michael Carnahan, J. Michael Straczynski, screenplay by Matthew Michael Carnahan, Drew Goddard, Damon Lindelof, based on the novel by Max Brooks, music by Marco Beltrami, special makeup effects by Legacy Effects, visual effects by Moving Picture Company (MPC), Cinesite, BOT VFX, Centroid Motion Capture

review by
Mike Haberfelner


All Gerry (Brad Pitt) wanted to do this morning was to drive his wife (Mireille Enos) and kids (Sterling Jerins, Abigail Hargrove) to work and school, respectively - but then they run into a massive traffic jam ... caused by a zombie outbreak. Now as a former UN operative, Gerry has people he can call to bring him and his family to a safe spot, a battleship miles off any coast - but this rescue comes at its cost as the UN want Gerry back, to help them in their fight to contain the outbreak. So they have him escort a virologist (Elyes Gabel) to South Korea, the suspected Ground Zero of the outbreak to begin searching for a cure - an enterprise that's cut short when said virologist is killed pretty much upon arrival. But Gerry finds a clue that leads to Israel, the only country as of yet not affected by the zombie outbreak - because they've built a wall around it, a wall besieged by zombies. Gerry doesn't have much luck in Israel either though, as he arrives only hours before the zombies actually manage to mount the wall and get into the country, wreaking havoc along the way, and he and a wounded soldier (Daniella Kertesz), whose arm he has chopped off to avoid the zombie disease from spreading through her body, only just make it onto a commercial plane to God-knows-where - that God-knows-where eventually turning out to be Cardiff, Wales, where there's a W.H.O. science lab that's - well, they're doing something there for sure. But ultimately, it's Gerry who has the decisive idea how to keep the zombies from attacking humans: Humankind just has to be infected with a in itself fatal but easily curable disease as zombies won't attack the sick, and problem solved. Problem is, all the fatal viruses at hand at the lab are contained in a part of the complex already controlled by the zombies. And even shoult Gerry succeed to retrieve the viruses, what guarantee does he have that his plan works ...

Future Doctor Who Peter Capaldi and German superstar Moritz Bleibtreu play W.H.O. scientists.

 

World War Z is a movie that falls between way too many stools: Its story features many interesting aspects hardly ever touched upon in other zombie movies, its plot is in itself logical (suspension of disbelief presupposed of course), and it's rather well-paced without overwhelming its audience. On the other hand, the film's pretty much devoid of characters as the only role that's given more than cardboard character status is Gerry, and even he lacks a character arc, he's just heroic and a caring husband/father from beginning to end. Also, for a zombie film, this one's very tame, it doesn't even try to make the horrors of the undead palpable. OIn top of that, this movie more than every other proves that running zombies just won't work: Instead of carefully built up zombie attacks we are in this one treated to a few too many jump scares with the zombies just appearing out of nowhere, pretty much whenever the story demands someone to die - which above all else means there's little in terms of actual suspense or tension, just pop-up shocks. And all this is a shame, as the concept of this movie is pretty cool - it just hasn't been turned into too good a movie.

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Tales to Chill
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Tales to Chill
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Out now from
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On the same day
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WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

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produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
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written by
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starring
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out now on DVD