Sound Off: Marc Forster's 'World War Z' - So What Did You Think?
by Alex Billington
June 21, 2013
Now that you've seen it, what did you think? A history of the zombie war. Finally in theaters is an adaptation of one of the best horror books ever written - World War Z by Max Brooks. Starring Brad Pitt and directed by Marc Forster (Finding Neverland, Stranger Than Fiction, Quantum of Solace), this World War Z movie follows U.N. special agent Gerry Lane as he travels a devastated world infected by "zombies." Besides Pitt, the cast includes Mireille Enos, James Badge Dale and Fana Mokoena. Is it any good? Does it even compare to the book? Once you've seen it, post a comment with your thoughts on World War Z.
Spoiler Warning: We strongly urge everyone to actually see the film before reading ahead, as there may be spoilers below. We also encourage all commenters to keep major spoilers from the film to a minimum, if possible. However, this is an open discussion from this point on! Beware of spoilers, don't ruin this film!
To fuel the zombie rage, I finally saw World War Z just this week and it's a solid action thriller, but there's just not much to it. It's a very empty action movie, with some incredibly intense and thrilling zombie horror scenes but by the end it still feels like it's lacking something. I have a soft spot for Forster's directing, he's a visual master and always gets me with the way he presents his movies. The whole thing looks gorgeous and Pitt does a damn good job, but I almost wish there was more (and there obviously will be with sequels). If you're looking for epic CGI action there is plenty, but if you're looking for more than that, see Man of Steel.
What did you think of Forster's World War Z? Outstanding zombie movie or complete crap? We will remove any comments that indicate you have not seen the movie, as this area is meant to discuss the film only once you have seen it and can talk about your thoughts. Please keep the comments civilized!
Reader Feedback - 22 Comments
I've read the book twice and this movie is not the book, it carries the title only. While there are some plot points lifted from the book, it is virtually unrecognizable. If you want to see a decent Zombie film that's tense and has some good action scenes, this film does the job. If you want to see the book "World War Z" as a movie, you will be disappointed. This is more like "I, Robot" - the basic premise is there, they use some references of the book, but it is not an adaptation.
Not the book on Jun 21, 2013
I agree with this point. After watching the movie it really makes me thing that they should have made a TV show instead. There was enough meat in each chapter for an episode to be filmed out of. This movie generalized everything instead, lost the substance and didn't do much. I only hope it does alright, and they do decide to make it into a TV show, It worked for the walking dead!
iainw on Jun 22, 2013
It did feel empty Alex. You never felt dread or fear that the main character was in the least bit of peril. The believable effects were in the vault only. The huge shots of the c.g. was a waste.
mooreworthy on Jun 21, 2013
Could have been something really special, but the take on the zombies just ruined it. Didn't feel anything like the book. At least the ending was good. it wasn't some ambiguous ending where nothing gets resolved like most zombie flicks.
wwz on Jun 21, 2013
I think Ill go see Man of steel again instead lol
Cody W on Jun 21, 2013
What bothers me the most (did not and will not see it & don't mind commenting) is that now we will probably never get to see WWZ as depicted in the book. They "stole" the name to get people excited about their United Nations can save the world BS (anyone think his wife working for them has anything to do with it?). Max Brooks book turned into film could have been the "Dances with Wolves" of zombie films. Chicago Sun Times review (Eberts former column) references the Audio Book version and if u want a great experience/listen go to the library and borrow it you won't be disappointed.
Wish01 on Jun 21, 2013
I'm sensing a bias against this film mostly based on politics and nothing else. He's UN, but he's an American who works with an Isreali for the entire second act of the film. Who else would you have the main character in a global zombie crisis work for? Considering in the book, basically all of the worlds governments dissolved except for Cuba he would be little more than a rogue nobody that no one would trust.
UrAllThumb on Jun 22, 2013
I enjoyed myself it was tense but needed more emotion and a true feeling of loss!
Professor_Bedlam on Jun 21, 2013
I thought WWZ was an OK movie disguised as a a bad movie (with an awesome pedigree it could never live up to). That said, most of it was alright...except Tommy. Is that kid dying or what? I got the accidental intimation that he survived his parents murdering each other because of the Zed weakness, but they just never said anything about it. It was the last lingering loose end I couldn't let go of as I left the theater yesterday.
Chad on Jun 22, 2013
People always say the book is always better, and this is certainly the case with this film. However this is one of the few book to film adaptations where I can say I think I would have enjoyed the film more had I not read the book because most of my disappointment was based on how far they diverged from the book. Other than that its a pretty good zombie flick. Considering how many reshoots took place, and the original plot line and ending involving Russia that they cut out of the film in favor of the plane sequence and the W.H.O disease center it is clear that this film was intended to be the set up for at least one sequel. That gives me hope because I think that feeling that the film is missing something is because during filming they realized they were going in the wrong direction with how they approached the film. When I first heard they were making this book into a movie I was hoping it would be similar to District 9 but on a bigger scale. What we got was a typical sci-fi summer blockbuster similar to I-Robot. Not bad, but it didn't do the book justice. The book is set up in 3 parts that could easily have lended itself to 3 films about the outbreak, the war, and the eventual defeat of the zombies. It could have been done and I think that was their original intention but they realized they needed the retroactive perspective of the book in order to make the films work but they approached it as a typical hollywood narrative that couldn't capture as much. The film was so overly focused on Pitts character I kept wishing he'd move out of the way so I could see the zombies behind him. Each action scene seemed like it was cut short right before the audience was able to indulge in the typical zombie film gore. Nothing in the movie felt disturbing which made it feel contrived and disappointing. My hope is they realized this mistake during filming but it was too late so instead of scrapping the film, they scrapped the ending to set up at least one sequel that will be told retroactively like the book. This film covered the outbreak and mashed the beginnings of the war into it, but the book itself has too much potential as a film franchise for them to stop with just one film. If a sequel isn't made I completely expect this film to be rebooted quickly with different direction. I disagree with Alex about Marc Forster being a good choice for this film. I felt from the start he was a bad choice, and every short coming of this film is caused by the fingerprints of his direction. The only film he's made that I enjoyed was Finding Neverland. As an action director he's iffy, and his only attempt at horror was awful. Nothing he's ever done has an epic feel and this film required someone who could combine action, drama, and horror with an epic feel.
UrAllThumb on Jun 22, 2013
I'm not sure I would say I was disappointed completely because I did enjoy it at times. However I cant help but feel like I only saw the middle third of a movie. With one road side explosion kicking off the over running of a city to finally being saved from a rooftop I really felt like the lead up lacked depth and did not enjoy how the characters seemed to know more then I did but failed to share it. Even with lots of plot holes I still managed to get into the build up to a turning point only to see it end with a half assed narration. As far as a middle third of a movie goes not bad but as a full movie very disappointing
Future Firstshowing Writer on Jun 22, 2013
This movie completely sucked. There was zero tension, zero emotion, zero heart and zero creativity. It was completely predictable. Especially the ending. There was not a single moment that I felt Brad Pits character was at risk. Even during the plane scene. They are the only two who survive the plane crash? come on. I have no idea if that was what the book was like. I never read the book.
seb on Jun 22, 2013
This movie has nothing to do with the book. Saying this movie is like the book, would be like saying Finding Nemo is actually a nature documentary. They paid to use the book's name to sell a movie that they just made up.
Crikey! on Jun 23, 2013
Never read the books so I can't really comment on the story but I think Alex's comments and the review by Jeremy hits the nail in the head. For me the movie felt like it was stuck in limbo and didn't know which way to go. It was the epic summer blockbuster at one point then it tried to be a zombie horror flick at another and every now and then it tried to add a little drama but in the end it became a jack of all trades and a master of none. After watching WWZ, unless they change a lot more for the sequel, I don't think it really warrants one.
TK on Jun 23, 2013
Thought it was a bit blah, but not so bad, crazy regarding the budget though.
Carpola on Jun 23, 2013
World War ZZ TOP: Battle of Yonkers Coming 2015
Vic on Jun 23, 2013
Considering the budget for this and the subject matter, I found it pretty uninvolving. There's stuff happening on screen but it doesn't really grab you. A couple of running crowd scenes (where you can't tell if they are escaping humans or chasing zombies) and some wide angle city shots with some wisps of smoke doesn't really give a feeling of Armageddon. There's not a great deal of tension, one minute there are millions of zombies, the next minute not and the lack of blood makes it seem a little silly. People are attacked in a frenzied manner but then have a small bite on their arm. Disappointing and a missed opportunity.
Payne by name on Jun 24, 2013
Agreed, it felt empty. I wasn't all too impressed.
Kyle on Jun 24, 2013
Having read this book did not ruin the movie for me. I, unlike most people, was able to enjoy them as two separate entities. Because of that the rest of my review will be strictly on the movie and nothing to do with how it compared to the book. I really liked this movie. I like how they tried to do something different then normal zombie flicks. I think it compares somewhat with 28 Days Later in terms with how the Zombies are more of an infection and they still have human speed and strength. Also WWZ seems much more character/plot focused rather then being a movie about trying to gross out the viewer with gore, blood and guts. It didn't show much blood or gore but still managed to have elements of it to show the viewer how brutal the zombies could be. Unlike most zombie flicks the story wasn't about survival, it started off quick and then jumped straight into finding a way to cure the disease rather then trying to find a good place to hide. I think was much more of a thriller/action movie then a horror, typical zombie flick and I really appreciated that. My only real knock on the movie was I didn't care for the frequent zoomed out shots of thousands of cgi zombies moving at what seemed faster then human speeds. I thought they used to much cgi when trying to show crowds of zombies and it was obvious. Other then that I liked what they did with the movie and will probably watch it again when it comes out on blueray.
Ryan Gonzalez on Jun 24, 2013
This movie had some greatness but it lacked a lot. The CGI was near unbearable. It looked no better than Resident Evil. Some scenes had CGI and it wasn't even necessary.... like when the camera was panning the ship... regular people walking were in CGI and it was very evident. That whole grenade on the plane was crap too... cool idea, poorly executed. I didn't expect much from a film that was in production hell for the longest.
rolyjimenez on Jun 24, 2013
never read teh book.. got no complaints abouot the movie...entertaining and fun... some of he Camp Humphreys scenes remind me of playing COD II Zombies on Xbox...a major plot point reminiscient of Andromeda Strain.... overall , I liked it....
guido_jenkins on Jun 26, 2013
The title screams that this flick is a zionist wet dream. The trailer shows them flying around in helicopters massacring anyone they feel is less than human so it appears to be typical hollywood fare. After seeing Brad Pitt star in "The Inglorious Basterds", I'm not at all surprised that he has sunk this low.
Frank on Jul 4, 2013
Sorry, no commenting is allowed at this time.