North Texas Daily

Review: “World War Z” offers kinetic entertainment

Review: “World War Z” offers kinetic entertainment

June 21
15:39 2013

James Clay / Intern

 3.5 out of 5 stars

“World War Z,” a loose adaptation of Max Brooks’ bestselling novel of the same name, drew attention early on, but not in a good way. A budget that soared north of $150 million and reshoots that took place last fall — all signs pointed to a box office flop.

Studio executives called upon screenwriter Damon Lindelof to fix the third act of the film, which is ironic considering Lindelof received a large amount of criticism regarding the script he wrote for last summer’s “Prometheus.” However, despite what was destined to be a disaster, director Marc Forster and Hollywood megastar Brad Pitt were able to put together a riveting popcorn flick.

Pitt stars as Gerry Lane, a United Nations employee whose qualifications are vaguely described. Lane along with his wife and two daughters are stuck in morning traffic, when all of a sudden downtown Philadelphia suddenly erupts in complete chaos. As a result of similar events all across the globe, Lane is called back into action to essentially stop a zombie pandemic that is threatening the existence of humanity.

“World War Z” wastes little time before diving into the first of many action set pieces. The tension is at a pinnacle when Lane and his family navigate their way through a claustrophobic apartment building as a hoard of bloodthirsty zombies are hot on their heels. The idea to base the film in reality was incredibly clever, combining elements of realism with the zombie mythos works on nearly every level.

Drew Goddard delivers an exciting fast paced screenplay that a film of this magnitude demands. Goddard previously worked with Joss Whedon, of “Avengers” fame, on last year’s ridiculously fun horror romp “ The Cabin in the Woods.” Goddard’s past experience with creature features gives “WWZ” a polished take on the Zombie genre.

A few scenes in the movie are clunky with dialogue that convolutes the plot and at times doesn’t give enough exposition. Some characters that Lane encounters, such as an imprisoned CIA operative and a group of Navy SEALS, are merely cyphers and are on screen only to provide a few lines of dull commentary.

However, the film gets a breath of fresh air when Lane lends a helping hand to a female Israeli soldier named Segen. Lane takes her under his wing and their newly found friendship helps to bring more emotional depth to the story.

Pitt’s performance is enjoyable, and although “World War Z” doesn’t allow him to flex his acting muscles very often, his leading man status is able to anchor the film. This role was catered to Pitt and his character seemed to draw parallels to his real life persona.

“World War Z“ is successful in most elements and is the first blockbuster crowd pleaser of the summer. A few surprises and enthralling action sequences make for a good piece of visual storytelling that audiences should see in a packed theater with a massive bucket of popcorn.

“World War Z” opens today.

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