Wednesday, June 26, 2013

World War Z

Get out your shotguns and magazines we're reviewing World War Z NO, NOPE, CAN'T DO IT, CANNOT, WILL NOT SAY IT – ahem… we're reviewing That Brad Pitt Zombie Movie!

It's the zombie apocalypse and once Gerry (Brad Pitt) gets his family to safety, it's up to him to globe-trot to find a cure, or something!

Ugh. Well. Y'know, it's hard, but once you cover your eyes during the opening title screen and pretend it's not… that other thingThat Brad Pitt Zombie Movie (Don't Get Bit, Brad Pitt? We'll think of something) is a fairly enjoyable zombie movie! It's not amazing, or even great, but it is a very tense experience, sometimes, with a bunch of good jump scares and some interesting takes on the genre. It doesn't redefine the genre. It's not Shaun of the Dead, or even Dawn of the Dead, or The Walking Dead; it’s not any of those good zombie movies or shows. But it's still a pretty fun zombie movie.

These aren't your normal zombies. They don't even feel like the more common fast-running infected we're used to as today's zombie standard. More than anything, these remind me of the infected from The Last Of Us videogame. I wish they had pushed it further and gone more with the giant-mob-acting-as-one-organism scenario. In fact, don't make it zombies at all, why don't you! They seem like they're fire ants, which also happen to be creepy. But on the flip-side, once you get up close and personal with them… instead of looking like the creepy undead, they sometimes resemble epilepsy victims who can't stop their teeth from chattering. Maybe it was a move to make them look more realistic, so you couldn't tell who was dead and who wasn't, but a lot of times it looks silly. I can't wait until this hits Youtube and we get a bunch of dance remixes!
Spin-off movie with just Segan please.

The 12-Second Infection also changes the zombie formula, in that you change pretty much instantly: 12 seconds, to be exact. That's interesting, though pretty convenient for figuring out who's been infected and who hasn’t. There's also a weird twist at the end which is new and interesting (which I won't spoil, in case you do want to see it). Also odd, these zombies are mostly attracted to sound, and barely look like they're rotting.

Of course, it also has what must be the dumbest character death ever. A scientist trips and shoots himself in the head. Just… why are you even a human? How can you die like that? Did that character even matter? He wasn't important enough to even be eaten by a zombie? A high point: it has what I consider as perhaps the best “turn-your-phone-off-in-the-theater” commercial ever, which I hope they make use of in the future.

Everyone Die So Brad Pitt Can Live has a pretty good cast of people that die so Brad Pitt can go look at stuff. It's not even really stated why he's important or what his job is, but I guess he's good at what he does, whatever that might be. I think I would have liked it better if he was just straight Brad Pitt and Brad Pitt happened to be good at surviving the zombie apocalypse. This is Brad Pitt's secret job! He is the best at what he does, and what he does is acting and zombies. But he does act his part well, and he does do some smart things, like duct tape magazines to his wrist as a makeshift shield. Brad Pitt, why don't you just cover yourself in magazines, then!? Zombie apocalypse averted thanks to People Weekly and Time! The other standout is Daniella Kertesz, who plays a badass soldier-person, Segan, and she is probably my favorite character in this entire movie. If there are sequels I want them to be all about her!

There are a lot of scenes of people trying to explain how this outbreak happened and talking about a cure and that's… fine. But then there are these incredibly tense moments of people sneaking around, trying not to get bitten by zombies or killed by people. This is where Don't Say the 'Z' Word really shines. The first twenty minutes in which Brad Pitt is surviving through the fall of Philly and Newark, getting his family to safety and having an especially hard time with his eldest daughter's asthma? That’s thrilling to watch. If that had been the whole movie (and it had been titled Family Vacation Z or something) I would be pretty fine with that. It is caaarazy tense. But then it goes to the globe-trotting, which does have a lot of cool individual sequences in it, but I'm surprised there isn't anything else with his family being endangered. Not that I approve of his family dangling precariously over a pit of zombies on fire or anything. Ahem.
The inevitable extension of the fire-ant zombies. You can't say you wouldn't watch this.
This is also one of the best metaphors for the American army screwing over its veterans. Sure, they promise to take care of your family when you volunteer to help in this One Job That No One Else Can Do Except For Brad Pitt, but miss one phone call and they throw them out on the street! What the hell, American Government!?

The effects are acceptable. I wouldn't go so far as to say amazing, but they're not bad, after you get over the different look they gave the zombies. They are not as good as Walking Dead zombies, but then… what are? The music is pretty generic, but they have one really good credits song, so that's cool? And the 3D is alright. There were a few jump scares and action shots that looked nice, but the majority of the movie didn't use it at all.

Zeek and Me isn't really a bad movie; altogether, it’s a pretty enjoyable zombie experience. Watch it for the tense scenes and the new takes on the old formula. And Brad Pitt running around being Brad Pitt. But don't watch it because you think it's going to be anything like that other thing that we're not talking about because WHY WOULD YOU CALL IT THAT? IT’S NOTHING LIKE IT! GEEZ, DID YOU EVEN READ THE– okay, okay. I'm done. Just go watch it, I think.

THE GOOD: Tense zombie action, Brad Pitt has good acting, some jump scares, zombie mob is interesting, some new takes, that one cool female soldier-person who I like and is cool.

THE BAD: IT’S NOT WORLD WAR Z! THERE I SAID IT, generic score, zombies are weird and sometimes silly, really dumb death why.

THE VERDICT: $$$ Y'know, I would say this is good enough to catch in theaters, but I can't in good conscience give it anything higher than a maybe when it still has that name. Guys, c'mon, it's not World War Z. Not even close. Why would you do that? Do you realize that the only people who would have seen it because it's called World War Z will not see it for that exact reason, now? Anyways, I think it's pretty good, but if you want to wait and see it on demand, that is also a viable option. 3D is optional, some shots were good, but a lot was not used.

MOVIES LIEK IT: Dawn of the Dead, 28 Weeks Later, The Last Of Us (video game)

ONE-SCENE METAPHOR: They have to refuel their plane, in the dark, in the rain, with zombies coming at them. It's pretty tense, but then they're also riding on the squeakiest bikes ever – why wouldn't you oil those things up? And then everyone pretty much throws themselves at the zombies to save Brad Pitt. I mean, guys, I liked Fight Club and Se7en too, but is he really the zombie savior? Why?

DISCUSSION: What other titles would fit better than: That Brad Pitt Zombie Movie (TBPZM)?

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