Friday, January 24, 2014

Movie Review: World War Z

A couple weeks ago, my friend Joe took a tumble down a flight of stairs and broke his collar bone.  It could have been worse.  He was carrying his infant son at the time, who ended up with a tiny skull fracture, which thankfully only required an overnight stay in the hospital for observation and Joe is on the mend.

I spent a few days with Joe taking him to his initial appointments.  So we had a chance to catch up on things and would have actually played a game, but just as we got started one of Joe's doctor's called and wanted to see him right away.

We did manage, once things settled down somewhat, to finally watch World War Z on his flat-screen TV.  We missed seeing it on the big screen and during whole time the film was in production, wondered if it would be as good as the book.  The trailer looked awesome, but I'm sure you've gone to a movie based on the trailer only to find out all the best parts were packed into a 2 minute clip.

Speaking of the movie's source material, World War Z was the first book review I posted on this blog just over four years ago.  

Style-wise the movie was about as different from the book as you could get and still call it "World War Z."  The book takes place in the aftermath of the Zombie Apocalypse and illustrates the impact the rise of the "zeds," have on society as a whole.

The movie is an action-adventure flick that takes place as the Zombie Virus spreads throughout the world.  Wikipedia provides a good rundown on the plot, cast, production woes, video game (which I think the images I hijacked came from) and of course--a possible sequel.

What did Joe & I think of the movie?

We may not be Siskel & Ebert, but we both gave World War Z two thumbs up.  (Which based on the Wikipedia entry is a copyrighted catchphrase).  For a more traditional rating, I'll give the film 3.5 out of 5 stars.  I liked it, but the movie is drastically different than the book.  It was also hard to hear and understand some of the quieter scenes after watching zombies rampaging through whatever city the action is taking place in.  

The biggest problem I had with the movie is more political in nature.

In the book, the author Max Brooks, clearly stated that "Patient Zero" originated in China.  The People's Republic was the source of the SARS outbreak in 2003 and since then has been responsible for:  Lead found in house paint and childrens' toys, along with being the world's #1 polluter.  

The movie on the other-hand pulls it's punch, so the search for Patient Zero starts at Camp Humphreys, South Korea.  Recently, movie makers have been reluctant to include scenes that might upset China's Politburo.  So the go-to bad guys have been the North Koreans.  World War Z goes one step further and places Patient Zero among our South Korean allies. 

By the end of the movie, Gerry Lane (played by Brad Pitt) narrates the ending say they "...still don't know where Patient Zero is..." 

Other than this political soap-box related issue, World War Z makes a good addition to anyone's zombie movie collection.


DeanM said...

Wow, Ted - that fall by your friend and his child sounds terrible; I pray they will recover quickly. Regards, Dean

P.S. We still need to get some Hail Caesar and Black Powder games in.

Ted Henkle said...

Thanks for your thoughts and concern Dean. The boy is doing fine and my friend is on the mend, but will be in a sling for a few more weeks. I'm definitely looking forward to some HC & BP with you and your awesome figures!