Sunday, 8 December 2013

World War Z

2013, 15, Directed by Marc Forster
Starring: Brad Pitt, Meirelle Enos, James Badge Dale, Matthew Fox

The cinema incarnation of the zombie has seen radical changes since George A. Romero’s ground-breaking Night of the Living Dead crawled it's way onto screen. With every new zombie film comes the sniffy critics, microscopically analysing all elements - with the agility of the killing machines as much the focal point as the political subtext they inevitably must convey (not to mention what the characters brandish them - something TV show The Walking Dead deals with whilst pressing tongue firmly in cheek.) World War Z, based on the 2006 novel by Max Brooks (son of Blazing Saddles director, Mel,) takes an interesting stance on the genre; the film – after a heart-pumping opening montage sequence - begins in Philadelphia, introducing us to the Lane’s, comprised of Gerry (Brad Pitt,) Karin (The Killing’s Meirelle Enos) and their two children. Within ten minutes, hell is breaking loose, cities are being overrun, and it is the double helping of Marc Forster’s snappy direction and Roger Barton and Matt Chesse’s quick-fired editing that will leave you questioning the image you’re sure you’ve just witnessed…this causes an unsettling air to descend upon the film, the slots falling into place for what is to come.

...It's unfortunate then that World War Z
 dips in a second act which sees Pitt’s former UN employee reluctantly agree to scale the world in hope of finding the source of the outbreak. Lazily structured, Forster relies upon striking imagery and standout set-pieces to ensure the film remains watchable – with not enough made upon the novel’s commentary on overpopulation. You may have heard about the whole thing somehow ending up in Cardiff, yet these are the scenes where the tension of the opening segment is thankfully restored in an extended set-piece captured so annoyingly well that taking a few ‘hold-your-breath’ lessons wouldn’t have gone amiss. Save for these solid moments, World War Z remains largely unremarkable, falling short of the promise conveyed in act one.