World War Z
Former UN investigator Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) is waiting in his car together with the rest of his family for the daily traffic jams of Philadelphia to move a few meters forward when they suddenly see an explosion ahead. Gerry wants to step out to get a better view on what’s going on but a cop stops and orders him to stay in the car. That’s about all he gets to say as he gets hit by a truck that shows up out of nowhere and puverises anything that stands in its way.
Gerry has no idea what’s going on but waiting clearly isn’t the best option so he decides to go with his car after the truck that’s making a way through all the traffic. A little further this becomes clearly a smart move as when Gerry, his wife and kid get stuck again a little further it becomes clear that behind them chaos has arrived; people are being chased by what seems to be a hord of crazed zombies and anyone who gets bitten changes into one of those meat-loving “walking dead” almost instantly.
After some time Gerry and his family succeed in escaping the city and with the help of his old friend and colleague Thierry Umutoni they get picked up by helicopter and transported to a military ship where he gets informed about what’s going on; a new deadly virus has broken out and transforms people into deadly zombies and the pandemic is expanding so fast that the human population is getting decimated at terrifying speed. To stop the end of the world from happening the origin of the virus will need to be found and examined, a task Gerry has to bring to a good end if he wants to be sure to keep his family in safety…
World War Z is loosely based on the book by Max Brooks from 2006 and without a doubt one of the blockbusters that had to make it in the summer of 2013. When you look at the trajectory the movie had followed until then (six months delay, pieces that needed rewriting and reshooting, as well as changes in writers and makers making that the project almost got cancelled…) you would expect it to be quite the disappointment, but the end result luckily isn’t too bad.
The movie is somewhat split into two pieces where the first part plays around Pitt and his family trying to get to safety. This delivers next to the necessary action also depth and background to Pitts character and clarify what drives him to leave his family in the second part to find a cure to counter the pandemic. For a typical blockbuster World War Z contains more depth than you would expect, but that sadly enough does have its drawbacks on the spectacle. Watch the trailers and you’ve seen just about all truly grand CGI-scenes.
What remains is a zombie movie that gives you the feeling of a videogame where the lead character goes to a location, fulfills a mission, and then goes to the next location. Repeat this process a couple of times and after a while you get to see the “Mission Accomplished” screen and the ending credits that start to roll. It’s of course not as straightforward as described, but you get what I mean.
World War Z tries to bet on several horses making that the movie doesn’t come out as winner in any. There are plenty of movies that are more impressive when it comes to pure brainless CGI-action, and qua depth it can’t reach even the heels of the TV show “The Walking Dead” that covers a similar subject. However, if you don’t want to spend 12 hours in front of your TV and do like seeing some great effects with decent story and acting, then World War Z is definitely not a bad choice.
The image looks really sharp with plenty of detail in buildings, characters and zombies, and you also notice the varying color palette that depends on the location and never has any issue getting put forward on the screen. If we have to give negative comments then it’s mostly due to the digital nature of the recording which brings things forth quite “clean” but we would be surprised if anyone would truly make an issue of this.
The soundtrack is focused quite heavily on the front channels but that doesn’t mean the rear doesn’t get any action. Choppers flying over, people crying for help from all sides in the Streets, and explosions that seem to come from everywhere are all well combined with powerful music that makes that we do get a total soundscope that nicely wraps around us. World War Z has a soundtrack that can easily be used as demo-material.
The Extended Action scene cut we find on this Blu-ray contains three extras starting with “WWZ: Production” which is a four-part documentary that lasts 36 minutes and gives more detail on the initial outbreak of the virus as well as go deeper in on a couple of scenes. In “Origins” the cast & crew get 8 minutes to promote the movie, and in “Looking to Science” there’s 7 minutes discussion on whether a zombie outbreak could become reality.