Review: World War Z (2013)


“Mother Nature is a serial killer. No one’s better, or more creative. Like all serial killers, she can’t help but have the urge to get caught or what good would all those brilliant crimes do if no one takes the credit? So she leaves crumbs.”
– Andrew Fassbach

Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) is retired from the UN. He now lives at home with his wife Karin (Mireille Enos) and their two children, Rachel (Abigail Hargrove) and Constance (Sterling Jerins). He is a stay at home dad and loves it. However, the news is sounding bad when it reports of terrible disease spreading like wildfire. In traffic in Philadelphia morning, there is an outbreak of vicious proportions and attacks that Gerry cannot explain. It seems to take about twelve seconds for the bitten to turn into whatever launched the attack. The Lanes take off, and Gerry is contacted by Deputy Secretary-General Thierry Umutoni (Fana Mokoena), who is an old friend. He is going to do what he can to rescue Gerry, whose family in the meanwhile has picked up a new addition, a young boy named Tommy (Fabrizio Zacharee Guido).

world war z zombie outbreak
“If you can fight, fight. Be prepared for anything. Our war has just begun.” – Gerry Lane

Gerry and his family are finally picked up, but it seems the relationship is quid pro quo. The family is transported to a fleet of U.S. Navy vessels, and space is limited. The only way to keep his family safe and on the boat means that Gerry needs to work with the government. Gerry needs to assist virologist, Dr Andrew Fassbach (Elyes Gabel), to discover the origins of the virus. As soon as he knows that, he can develop a vaccine. Gerry leaves to a military base in South Korea, where it is rumoured to have begun. It was the first transmission that mentioned zombies, at any rate.

world war z protecting family
“Your Secretary here says you were his best investigator when you were with the UN. I wanna send you in, with a team. Help Dr. Fassbach find whatever it is he needs.” – Naval Commander

When there, the team is attacked and Fassbach accidentally shoots himself and dies. Gerry and the remainders make it inside, where they learn more about these zombies. Noise attracts them, head shots are the sure-fire way of taking them down, and that if possible they should be burned. Captain Speke (James Badge Dale) introduces Gerry to a seemingly crazy former CIA operative Gunter Haffner (David Morse), who is a prisoner and a survivor who is pulling his teeth as the answer to stop the infection. He tells Gerry to go to Jerusalem, where a safe zone seems to have been erected prior to the outbreak becoming an official problem. Thinking they may have insider and special knowledge, Gerry moves along there.

world war z jerusalem
“Most people don’t believe something can happen until it already has. That’s not stupidity or weakness, that’s just human nature.” – Jurgen Warmbrunn

Mossad Director Jurgen Warmbrunn (Ludi Boeken) explains to Gerry that they had no prior knowledge of the zombie outbreak, but had an intercepted communication from an army general in India. The troops were apparently fighting the undead, and they prepared. Gerry is desperate to find out where the virus originated as well as establish a way to end it all. When the sanctity of the safe haven is compromised due to the loud, joyous singing of the rescued Israelis, Gerry makes an escape with Segen (Daniella Kertesz), of the military. He cuts her hand off after she is bitten, and after that and some other observations, he feels that he may very well be seeing the chink in the zombie chainmail. Following his escape in an airliner, he wishes to go to a research facility, but the plane crashes and Umutoni and his people take Gerry for dead, and throw his family and the new kid, Tommy, out.

Will Gerry be able to figure out enough about the virus to tell the people with the know-how what he saw so that they are able to fix it? Will he find the origin of the outbreak so that they will be able to manufacture an antivirus? Will his family be safe from the outbreak now that they have been kicked off of the safe haven of the U.S. Navy vessels?

I would rate World War Z a 7/10. I was looking forward to this movie. I think that I was one of the few people that were not dreading it, but was actually excited to see what the film brought, and I was not let down. I thought Brad Pitt was again excellent. I think he is a wonderful actor that gets underestimated too often. A lot of people blow him off as his success being directly related to his appearance, though I find that grossly unfair. He is very talented. The zombies in this film were most definitely a fresh and new variety, and not the type that I want to come in contact with ever. This is quite a vicious zombie apocalypse, and the spread thereof is so fast. Gerry having to look into where the disease started and how it spread was interesting – finding patient zero. These are such dangerous times and such an important task at hand that needs some serious dedication. I had a friend who said that the end disappointed him a little, and I must say that while it did not disappoint me as terribly as it did him; it sort of left a little to be desired. It went from being incredibly smart, and quite clever, to just suddenly and unexpectedly drawing to a close. This is a very solid and decent entry to the zombie genre, and definitely worth checking out.