I don’t normally write movie reviews, but this flick had such an impact on me I decided to share…
Last month, I had the misfortune of watching the summer blockbuster film, World War Z. I say “misfortune” because this movie was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back; I no longer have any faith left in Hollywood and, by extension, the movie-going public.
Before I go any further, I would like to say that I read the book by Max Brooks a few years ago and I had very high hopes for this movie. Hopes that were crushed mere minutes into the film.
The book was a sociopolitical commentary that was set against the backdrop of a theoretical zombie apocalypse. Max Brooks explored many touchy subjects such as human trafficking in Asia, political tensions in the Middle East and the cognitive and cultural divide between Western Europe and former Soviet-bloc countries. There’s even an ironic and brow-raising scenario where American refugees are attempting to flee the zombie hordes of the States by taking rafts into Cuba.
When I first cracked the pages on World War Z, I expected to be taken on a fun, zombie-riddled, fantasy ride by the son of famous funny man, Mel Brooks. What I got instead was a thought-provoking tale of humanity’s brush with extinction as told from the perspective of over a dozen flavorful characters.
The movie, on the other hand, was the loose story of Brad Pitt traveling the globe and outrunning explosions/ zombies. There were so many battles in exotic locales, I half expected Optimus Prime and Shia Labeouf to make an appearance.
With the bloated special effects budget and little to no plot, it felt like a Michael Bay film. I swear to God, that man could ruin anything.
As I grew more and more agitated in my theater chair, I realized that I needed a dramatic shift in my expectations lest my mood would sour for the rest of the evening. I decided to watch the film for what it was, a mindless, globe-trotting CGI romp that would challenge none of my thoughts or opinions on anything whatsoever.
Ultimately, this proved unfruitful because I was stone cold sober with no access to alcohol and therefore, unable to turn off my brain. Instead I made a compromise between actively hating the movie and passively enduring it and henceforth focused on the movie’s glaring mechanical inconsistencies. I will share those with you now.
*I would normally warn against spoilers at this point, but it’s hard to spoil a steaming piece of crap.
-Zombies, regardless of their physical attributes & dimensions whilst living, gain the power, speed and coordination of an NFL linebacker.
I’m not biologist or anything, but zombies are animated corpses. It would stand to reason that an animated corpse, although fearless and armed with near-limitless endurance, would not gain power through the process of dying. How can something that doesn’t eat, heal, rest or sleep get stronger? Everything it does expends energy and it does nothing to intake energy. They don’t even eat people, they just bite them and move on to the next victim.
-There are no fat zombies.
Let’s just pretend zombies that can run a 3.8 second 40 yard dash and then head-butt through ballistic glass somehow make sense. How come there are no fat zombies? I would imagine that the vast majority of fat people would have become the first wave of zombies due to their inability to outrun anything. Watch the movie and try to spot one fat zombie. There aren’t any.
-Zombie bones are made of titanium.
Somehow, zombies are able to bend the laws of physics via some Wile E. Coyote bullshit. More times than I could count, I watched a zombie suffer a bone-obliterating fall only to get up and sprint after the nearest human.
Looking back at the movie, I feel really bad for Max Brooks. It seems that the whole discussion as to how the movie was written went like this…
And then a few years later, a multimillion dollar abomination was released upon the public and we still lined up to see it. According to IMDb, this movie has already made a tidy $25 million dollars. I can just imagine the hidden cabal of masked Hollywood executives lounging about a chateau amidst piles of cash, getting oral sex in some creepy Eyes Wide Shut style orgy.
So if you like zombies and you want to be a part of the solution and not the problem, buy Max Brooks’ books and don’t watch the movie.
Final verdict: Book = 9/10
Movie = -712/10
P.S. I made a little facelift to the blog homepage. Hope you like it.
P.P.S. It’s good to be back. 🙂
You have so hit the NAIL ON THE HEAD! I too read max brooks a while ago, both WWZ and the survival guide. Although I realised the latter was merely tongue in cheek conjecture, I was really affected by both books. So much so that I actually got my husband to create a machete for me out of one of his old chainsaw bars. So you can imagine my excitement when I learned they were turning WWZ into a feature film. I got up and walked out at the writhing wall of Zeke levering itself up the barrier . What a joke! completely destroyed every notion I held dear in my zombie nerd fantasies. I nearly cried.
Good to see you writing again 🙂
Ha Ha! I haven’t seen the movie, but my son did and he didn’t recommend. Was disappointed, and so am I because I was hoping it would be good. 😦
Hahahah so funny, “Your sex sir does not put you in charge of me”… heheheeh
That part cracked me up too. Almost snorted out my coffee 🙂
I have heard of Max Brooks before, via the Zombie Apocalypse Safehouse competition (which we entered), but your review makes me want to go get the book. I agree wholeheartedly with you that the movie is mostly mindless. There are a few compelling scenes however:
1. Israeli / Arab co-oporation and celebratory singing ironically leads to mutual destruction via extraordinary zombie rampage: a poignant demonstration that any wall is a flimsy alternative to peace.
2. Discussion of the Israeli’s 10th man policy is surprisingly engaging. Imagine if governments everywhere took the same approach to climate change: 9 guys sitting around a table saying no, it’s probably just natural cycles. 1 guy saying, maybe it’s us, so let’s stop burning fossil fuels.
3. Jerky, teeth-gnashing zombies are creepy while up close and personal. They even look like they smell bad.
I rarely go to the cinema anymore for exactly the same sort of reasons you talk about here – everything’s boom and crash and kapow and stupid. I’d say the last movie I enjoyed properly was Inception – even though it wasn’t perfect and had plenty of boom, crash and kapow, at least they had a story that was interesting! #rantover
What I really meant to say, though, was that I had no idea that this movie was based on a book (haven’t seen the movie, btw) and given what you’ve said about it, it looks like something that would be worth checking out…so thank you!
Thank you 🙂 I was going to watch just because some of it was set in the laboratories where I used to work but thankfully good sense prevailed – now I know I made the right decision. Keep up the good work.
can you also please review life of pi?
I want to hear your take on it. Personally i found it mind numbingly dull.
Also warm bodies. it made no sense. but at least it was meant to be silly.
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Hollywood needs to read the books before they make the movie. There have just been so many disappointments. But I do love seeing the movie and picking it all apart. With mockery and laughter. Thank you. 🙂
Is it really surprising that they totally screwed up the book? Brad Pitt and Hollywood. Yup, that’d scrap anything.
Glad you’r back!
That was amazing! I especially enjoyed that little Jane Eyre depiction. Need more movie reviews from you, sir!
Nice to have you back!
Great review, there are many of us out there who feel your pain at this garbage-bonanza excuse for a movie – if you thought this was cringe-inducingly bad, be happy if you haven’t seen The Wolverine, I was eye-rolling and reacting with utter exasperation every couple of minutes or simply shaking my head incredulously at the stupid choices made even when they could have gone a number of other ways to get the same result only not leaving that terrible after-taste… and taste… and smell… oh pretty much all around horrible.
Oh and to make it worse – I just saw a news blurb in the morning paper that said it’s the highest grossing mainstream movie of Pitts career…
I actually want to smack Brad upside the head for this too, because this is the guy who did stuff like Se7en, Kalifornia, Fight Club, Inglorious, etc, etc, hell even Oceans Eleven which was great fun – and yet somehow he keeps managing to every once in a while do some seriously crap stuff like this. And it’s not like his good movies do badly! They make bank! They get acclaim and he actually gets to be a real actor… and then there’s this. Why Brad *smack* Why!!?
About a year ago Max was at my school giving a talk on zombies and he mentioned that a movie would come out based on his book. It seems like he knew how bad it would be even then because he was very insistent on saying he had nothing to do with the movie making decisions.
The book it is then! 🙂 books are almost always better than their movie counterpart, especially at this point in Hollywood movie making history..
Did you draw all of these by yourself? How cute they are
I love your illustrations, especially the Jane Eyre one and the conversation between Max Brooks and his writing team. Sounds about right….
Outstanding. Hilarious. I almost don’t want to read the book now, because it’ll make me hate the movie even more.
In my experience, there’s an inverse relationship to one’s love for a book and love for the movie based on the book.
Loved your Jane Eyre cartoon.
F*** it! I’m out… Good luck being a bunch of damn retards. XD, can’t stop laughing!!!
I can’t stop giggling at the fat zombie picture lol