‘World War Z’ Review

Published 1 year ago by , Updated August 30th, 2014 at 1:40 am,

world war z trailer brad pitt World War Z Review

Based on the zombocalyptic horror novel by author Max Brooks, director Marc Forster’s World War Z trades the book’s segmented interview structure for a linear jet-setting thriller story – one that takes protagonist Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) from one zombie-infested locale to another. Prior to the outbreak, Lane (a retired UN investigator) is living a quiet life as a stay-at-home dad – happily tending to chores and making breakfast for his wife, Karen (Mireille Enos) and two daughters. That is until a new strain of rabies devastates Philadelphia – as waves of ordinary people turn to vicious killing machines seconds after infection.

When major cities fall and the U.S. military begins to lose control of the situation, UN officials offer to extract Lane and provide his family safe harbor. The offer comes with a price: the UN will house Lane’s family if he escorts a high-level scientist on a mission through zombie-infested locales, to track down the source of the virus in the hopes of finding a cure.

Mireille Enos Brad Pitt World War Z World War Z Review

Mireille Enos and Brad Pitt in ‘World War Z’

Despite the eye-popping images of zombies clambering over one another in the World War Z trailers, Marc Forster is best known for intimate character stories (Stranger than Fiction) – not blockbuster CGI spectacle. As a result, while there is plenty of action in the film, moviegoers hoping for enormous scenes of zombie killing could be underwhelmed by the overall World War Z experience. The enormous zombie crowd shots are attention-grabbing (though most of them were already outed in the pre-release marketing) but Forster’s primary focus is Lane’s search for a solution to the outbreak. The result is an awkward disconnect: the first half of the film is exposition-heavy setup (not the blown-out zombie action depicted in the advertising) and the latter half is the complete opposite (dropping story in favor of lengthy zombie encounters).

Lane’s post-apocalyptic journey ultimately provides interesting ideas and tense zombie moments, but as a full movie experience, it’s a fractured and disconnected set of sequences held together by a paper thin MacGuffin chase. Despite the rich novel source material, the story is extremely familiar, with a number of stale side plots paired with teases that go nowhere. The film spends a lot of time educating viewers on the aspects that make the World War Z outbreak different from previously seen zombie tales, but some of the more interesting concepts are never explored onscreen.

It’s common knowledge that the movie underwent significant eleventh hour reshoots – and the divisions are noticeable. Even though the final product is exhilarating, since the movie benefits from a fresh set of action sequences in the third act, any new material comes at the expense of established story lines that are all but abandoned. It’s a disjointed narrative experience that presents absorbing information up front and then slides into thoughtless blockbuster fare with only a tacked-on explanation to bring everything full-circle (in a surprisingly modest climax).

World War Z Zombies World War Z Review

Zombie Tsunami in ‘World War Z’

Fortunately, performances in World War Z are strong – even if certain moments border on melodrama. Unsurprisingly, Pitt is a solid lead with a likable balance between no-nonsense survival skills and sympathetic reactions to the horror surrounding him. It’s hardly one of Pitt’s most captivating roles, but the star helps ground a number of key scenes that, with a less nuanced actor in the role, could have easily been eye-rolling instead of engrossing.

Enos (The Killing) is equally effective as Lane’s wife, Karen – successfully selling his reason for agreeing to the mission. The movie doesn’t bother to develop her character beyond the relationship with Lane, but Enos makes the most of her scenes and even gets to flaunt some impressive (albeit brief) zombie-fighting capability. While Enos is downgraded midway through the movie, Daniella Kertesz adds a highly-adept heroine for the latter half – as an Israeli solider, Segen, that accompanies Lane in his investigation. While Segen’s actions don’t always make complete sense (given her knowledge of the situation), they help drive several of the movie’s best scenes of tension and provide Kertesz with several memorable moments to justify her screen time.

Brad Pitt Daniella Kertesz World War Z World War Z Review

Brad Pitt and Daniella Kertesz in ‘World War Z’

Other supporting players including Fana Mokoena, James Badge Dale, Peter Capaldi, Pierfrancesco Favino, Ludi Boeken, and even Matthew Fox, get opportunities to shine, but are little more than window dressing (to provide Pitt with receptive listeners for exposition).

Of course, the real stars of the film are the zombies and, for the most part, they deliver a number of cool variations to the genre staples. As mentioned, the best zombie tsunami shots are spoiled in the film trailers, but the efficiency and brutality of the World War Z zombies (who can even spring their bodies into the air to tackle fleeing victims) definitely create plenty of exciting set pieces. Additionally, in service of helping Lane learn more about the outbreak, the film gives the character room to experiment and uncover the various intricacies of this zombie breed. Any of the subsequent revelations aren’t particularly profound, but there is a limited sense of discovery that helps keep things moving even when the story falters.

That said, (zombie horde scenes especially) are often too frantic or CGI-heavy to fully appreciate the scale and scope of the larger sequences – especially in 3D. World War Z is playing in both 3D as well as 2D, and while certain scenes are definitely more immersive and intense with the added 3D effect, viewing the movie in 2D should help mitigate the frenzied action shots for moviegoers who are put-off by shaky-cam-style cinematography. Viewers who don’t mind springing for a 3D ticket will gain some benefit from the upgrade, but cautious audience members who expect a lot of noticeable third-dimension effect when the pay for a premium screening, will likely be underwhelmed by the film’s subtle use of the format.

Elyes Gabel Brad Pitt World War Z World War Z Review

Elyes Gabel and Brad Pitt in ‘World War Z’

World War Z is a strange mix of intriguing character drama and story ideas that ultimately caves under the pressure of delivering a summer blockbuster movie experience (with zombies). For many film fans, the  journey from point A to B to C will be enough, but World War Z does little to reinvent or expand upon similar zombie genre offerings – relying heavily on the notion that more zombies makes for a better zombie movie. Unfortunately, certain viewers will be underwhelmed by that approach, since (as the story progresses) World War Z transforms from an engaging glimpse at post-apocalyptic human endurance into a brainless shell that is as absentminded as its undead subject matter, running thoughtlessly toward one over-the-top story bite to the next, while its tethers to humanity rapidly fade away.

If you’re still on the fence about World War Z, check out the trailer below:

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[poll id="631"]

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World War Z runs 116 minutes and is Rated PG-13 for intense frightening zombie sequences, violence and disturbing images. Now playing in 2D and 3D theaters.

Let us know what you thought of the film in the comment section below. If you’ve seen the movie and want to discuss details about the film without worrying about spoiling it for those who haven’t seen it, please head over to our World War Z Spoilers Discussion.

For an in-depth discussion of the film by the Screen Rant editors check out our World War Z episode of the SR Underground podcast.

Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick for future reviews, as well as movie, TV, and gaming news.

Our Rating:

3 out of 5
(Good)

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TAGS: world war z

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  1. Hmm I know nothing of this, it’s not featured too heavily here on SR, I’ve seen no trailers or TV Spots (here in the UK), not familiar with the source material.

    Weird, would of thought a Brad Pitt fronted movie would have bells and whistles going off all over the show.

    Anyways the film.

    More zombie apocalypse. Hollywood you don’t half get stuck in a rut.

    Meh!, DVD rental I think.

    • I’m not excited about the film, but the book is amazing and I highly recommend it!

    • This movie looks like a waste of time and certainly a waste of MONEY they spent 200 million to RE-WRITE AND RE-SHOOT the ending? As much as zombies scare the bejesus out of me i wouldn’t see this………i rather watch a marathon of AMC’S the walking dead which i’m a big fan of and any other zombie flick than this garbage. I HOPE IT BOMBS!

  2. I’m going to see this tomorrow. Monsters U today, zombies on Saturday. Should be a fun weekend. Nice to see you gave it a good review, Ben. I like Pitt as an actor so I’m rooting for this to be good.

  3. “World War Z transforms from an engaging glimpse at post-apocalyptic human endurance into a brainless shell that is as absentminded as its undead subject matter, running thoughtlessly toward one over-the-top story bite to the next, while its tethers to humanity rapidly fade away.”

    Bravo Ben. I am reading a review, or poetry? :)

  4. Saw this yesterday.

    Good fun matinee movie (not worth the full price). Contagion meets 28 days later.

    The ending was unsatisfying. I wonder how the book and movie compare with one another; if the book is better, I might be tempted to read it.

    • I’ve read the book, and its easily one of my favorites. I’ve heard the book and film are only similar in name. I’ll see the film, but I’d bet money the book is leaps and bounds better.

    • Yes read the book. It is incredible. It looks at every aspect of how a zombie outbreak would affect life and I found it to be fascinating.

    • The book was a great read. I’ve read and seen alot of books regarding zombies, and World War Z is by far the best one out there. Although I haven’t seen the movie at all, I can tell from the previews that the movie is nothing like the book, other then they both have the same title. I highly recommend the book!

  5. I think naming this movie World War Z will enrage most fans of the book. This looks nothing like it. As for me, I loved the book, and I think this movie was quite enjoyable. Totally surprised me. I just thought movie producers could have made a real World War Z movie. Can you imagine Brad Pitt interviewing survivors and we show flashbacks of them? And in the end you put Brad Pitt in the lion’s den and have his own zombie encounter. How is that not made into a movie? That would be a new take on the zombie genre. But overall, I agree with the review. 3 stars is spot on.

    • I like your movie adaptation idea WAY better! What were they thinking? It’s just so much more generic this way.

  6. I will def be checking this film out at the weekend, a zoblie tsunami looks epic if u knowwhat I mean

    • Zoblies kinda freak me out, but I do know what U mean dawg.

      • haha :D *Zombie !!

  7. Over under on box office?

    $50mil? I’m thinking more like $75mil but with Monsters U and MOS, it’s going to be tough.

    • Under ill go 43 mil

  8. I thought it was amazing for the first hour, it doesn’t wrap up as well as it starts out but those first opening scenes are incredible. Also they show WAAAAY too much in the trailer, I felt like I knew exactly what was going to happen for the vast majority of the movie.

    • I felt the same way. It seemed to build and build and build…Then the credits rolled. I didn’t have high expectations for it in the first place, but there were parts I liked. Overall though, I wasn’t impressed.

  9. I saw this last night and felt it was an alright movie. The opening parts of the movie was really great but it just didn’t do soo well after that and the ending just failed IMO. 3 stars is just about right as it’s an alright movie to check out if you have nothing else to do but waiting for it on DVD isn’t a bad thing either

  10. When I first saw the trailer for World War Z (WWZ for short, naturally) I wasn’t too impressed. First, yet *another* zombie movie and second the CGI looked very shoddy. Plus I had heard that the movie had been plagued by production issues, numerous rewrites and whatnot.

    Fast forward to a couple weeks ago and for some reason I became interested in seeing it. I think I remember reading an article saying early reviews were positive. Shows how easily I’m swayed. Or it could just be that I love movies and I’ll watch anything (can’t say I’ll always pay for them though)

    The positive scores on rotten tomatoes sealed it for me so I went yesterday.

    I was just about getting over the headache that Man of Steel gave me so I wasn’t looking forward to the 3D. Surprisingly, the 3D was well done. Zack Snyder needs to get in touch with Marc Forster for some tips on properly post converting.

    Aside from the 3D, there was nothing revolutionary to add to the zombie genre except maybe showing that a zombie movie can be done without copious amounts of blood and gore and still be quite entertaining. The CGI wasn’t an issue like I thought it might be.

    Am I the only person who thinks Brad Pitt is a bad actor? He’s not Channing Tatum level but he can’t hold a candle to say DiCaprio in my opinion.

    WWZ is a decent 2 hours at the cinema. I’m not sure I need to see it again when it’s on blu-ray/tv, too many other movies to see.

    Rating: 6/10

    • I don’t think I’d call Pitt a “bad actor,” but DeCaprio is certainly above and beyond Pitt’s skill level. I feel like Pitt’s acting skills have gone downhill instead of up.

      • Really? I thought he was top notch in moneyball.

        • Moneyball, Interview with a Vampire, and Legends of the Fall were all great in my opinion….If they ever adapted Fevre Dream to film I’d love to see Pitt cast as Joshua York.

  11. well somebody obviously didnt saw Twelve Monkeys, Snatch, Meet Joe Black,
    , fight club, moneyball. and some others .

    • seven years in tibet

  12. After all that…this movie is given a three-star recommendation. More than just another Screen Rant film reviewer delivering irony; it’s reminiscent of that MAN OF STEEL review in which nothing negative got mentioned — finding no fault whatsoever — and given a four-star review, while any number of fanboys weaving threads on the site explicitly commented about the movie in ways that more than suggest an astute critic rendering MOS as something less than four-stars.

    Not confusing, really, but disillusioning. If you’re going to play to the base, at least use your acumen for critique that will not compromise trust.

    Allowing that there may be some bias or integrity issues here, the following is a film review of WWZ from Variety.com:

    “FOR ALL ITS NEGATIVE PRE-RELEASE PUBLICITY, THIS IS A SURPRISINGLY SMART, GRIPPING AND IMAGINATIVE ADDITION TO THE ZOMBIE-MOVIE CANON.

    RISING FROM AN EARLY GRAVE OF NEGATIVE PRE-RELEASE PUBLICITY, DIRECTOR MARC FORSTER AND PRODUCER-STAR BRAD PITT’S MUCH-MALIGNED “WORLD WAR Z” EMERGES AS A SURPRISINGLY SMART, GRIPPING AND IMAGINATIVE ADDITION TO THE ZOMBIE-MOVIE CANON, OWING AS MUCH TO SCIENTIFIC DISASTER MOVIES LIKE “THE CHINA SYNDROME” AND “CONTAGION” AS IT DOES TO UNDEAD UR-TEXTS LIKE THE COLLECTED WORKS OF GEORGE ROMERO. SHOWING FEW VISIBLE SIGNS OF THE MASSIVE REWRITES, RESHOOTS AND OTHER POST-PRODUCTION PATCHWORK THAT DELAYED ITS RELEASE FROM DECEMBER 2012, THIS SLEEKLY CRAFTED, OFTEN NAIL-BITING TALE OF GLOBAL ZOMBIEPOCALYPSE CLICKS ON BOTH VISCERAL AND EMOTIONAL LEVELS, RESULTING IN AN UNUSUALLY SERIOUS-MINDED SUMMER ENTERTAINMENT WHOSE IDEAL AUDIENCE MIGHT BE DESCRIBED AS COMIC-BOOK FANBOYS WHO ALSO LISTEN TO “DEMOCRACY NOW.” OPENING A WEEK APART FROM THE MORE FOUR-QUADRANT-FRIENDLY “MAN OF STEEL” IN MOST MARKETS, “WORLD WAR Z” SHOULD POST SOLID ENOUGH NUMBERS AT HOME AND ABROAD, BUT WITH A RUMORED FINAL COST WELL NORTH OF $200 MILLION, IT’LL NEED MORE THAN A BIT OF KRYPTONITE UP ITS SLEEVE TO PUSH FAR INTO PROFITABILITY.

    A FLEXIBLE METAPHOR FOR ALL MANNER OF SOCIAL, CULTURAL AND POLITICAL MALADIES, THE ZOMBIE GENRE HAS, OVER THE DECADES, BEEN EMPLOYED AS AN ANALOGUE FOR EVERYTHING FROM THE U.S. OCCUPATION OF HAITI (1932’S BELA LUGOSI STARRER “WHITE ZOMBIE”) TO THE UPHEAVAL OF THE VIETNAM/CIVIL RIGHTS ERA (“NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD”) AND THE BIO-PANICS OF THE LATE 20TH CENTURY (“28 DAYS LATER,” “RESIDENT EVIL”). SIGNIFICANTLY EXPANDING THE CLAUSTROPHOBIC GEOGRAPHY OF MOST ZOMBIE PICS, THE APTLY TITLED “WORLD WAR Z” DOESN’T HAVE A PARTICULAR POLEMICAL AXE TO GRIND SO MUCH AS IT SEEKS TO IMAGINE HOW THE WORLD’S IDEOLOGICALLY DISPARATE PEOPLES AND GOVERNMENTS WOULD RESPOND IF GREAT MASSES OF THE POPULI DID SUDDENLY TURN INTO RABID, FLESH-EATING BEASTIES. IN WHAT MAY BE TAKEN AS AN AFFRONT BY THE AMERICA FIRST CROWD, THE OLD U.S. OF A. DESCENDS INTO CHAOS PRETTY EARLY ON, WHILE THE TWO NATIONS BEST EQUIPPED FOR THE COMING ONSLAUGHT TURN OUT TO BE ISRAEL AND NORTH KOREA — THE FORMER BY BUILDING AN ENORMOUS WALL, THE LATTER BY EXTRACTING THE TEETH OF ITS ENTIRE POPULATION. NO BITING, NO ZOMBIES, SEE?

    NOT THAT ANY MAKESHIFT SOLUTION LASTS FOR LONG IN “WORLD WAR Z,” WHOSE UNDEAD PROVE TERRIFYINGLY HARDY AND LIGHTNING-QUICK, SPRINTING INTO SPASTIC ACTION WHEN THEY SENSE FRESH MEAT IS NEAR AND TURNING THEIR VICTIMS INTO FELLOW TRAVELERS IN A MATTER OF SECONDS. WE FIRST SEEM THEM WREAKING HAVOC ON A DOWNTOWN PHILLY TRAFFIC JAM — A GENUINELY SPECTACULAR AND UNSETTLING ORGY OF MOB PANIC FROM WHICH WORLD-WEARY EX-UNITED NATIONS INVESTIGATOR GERRY LANE (PITT) BARELY EMERGES WITH HIS WIFE, KAREN (MIREILLE ENOS), TWO YOUNG DAUGHTERS AND OWN BODY FULLY INTACT. FLEEING IN A STOLEN CAMPER, THEY HIGHTAIL IT TO NEWARK, WHERE THEY AWAIT EXTRACTION FROM GERRY’S FORMER U.N. BOSS, THIERRY (THE EXCELLENT SOUTH AFRICAN ACTOR FANA MOKOENA), BUT NOT BEFORE WAITING OUT THE NIGHT IN A RUNDOWN APARTMENT BUILDING TRANSFORMED BY FORSTER INTO A SKIN-CRAWLING SUCCESSION OF WINDING, SHADOWY CORRIDORS AND FLICKERING FLUORESCENT BULBS. (THE GENERALLY ARRESTING CINEMATOGRAPHY IS CREDITED SOLELY TO MICHAEL BAY COLLABORATOR BEN SERESIN, THOUGH THE PIC WAS BEGUN BY OSCAR WINNER ROBERT RICHARDSON.)

    ADAPTED BY A SMALL ARMY OF SCREENWRITERS FROM THE BESTSELLING NOVEL BY MAX (SON OF MEL) BROOKS, THE PIC ABANDONS ITS SOURCE MATERIAL’S CHORAL “ORAL HISTORY” STRUCTURE TO HONE IN ON THE LANES, WHO, AFTER ONCE AGAIN NEGOTIATING A NARROW ESCAPE, FIND THEMSELVES ENSCONCED IN THE RELATIVE SAFETY OF AN AIRCRAFT CARRIER SOMEWHERE IN THE ATLANTIC. AT THIS DE FACTO COMMAND CENTER FOR WHAT REMAINS OF THE U.S. MILITARY, THIERRY WASTES NO TIME IN GIVING GERRY AN ULTIMATUM: GO BACK INTO THE WAR ZONE ON THE U.N.’S BEHALF, OR ELSE BE SENT RIGHT BACK TO ZOMBIE-INFESTED PHILLY WITH HIS FAMILY IN TOW. AND FROM THERE, “WORLD WAR Z” HOPSCOTCHES THE GLOBE, AS GERRY (IN THE COMPANY OF VARIOUS MILITARY ESCORTS) SEARCHES FOR THE PROVERBIAL “PATIENT ZERO” AND THE POSSIBILITY OF A CURE.

    SOMETHING THE WRITERS AND FORSTER HAVE CRIBBED WELL FROM THE ROMERO PLAYBOOK: THEY WASTE LITTLE TIME WITH SCENE-SETTING NICETIES, PLUNGING US STRAIGHT INTO THE THICK OF ZOMBIE MAYHEM, AND, PITT NOTWITHSTANDING, THEY DON’T AFFORD ANYONE STAR TREATMENT. CHARACTERS WHO INITIALLY SEEM POISED TO BECOME SIGNIFICANT SUPPORTING PLAYERS — AMONG THEM ARMY RANGERS JAMES BADGE DALE AND MATTHEW FOX AND ROGUE CIA OPERATIVE DAVID MORSE — PROVE EXPENDABLE, EITHER BY BECOMING FOOD FOR THE ENCROACHING ZOMBIE HORDE, OR SIMPLY BY VIRTUE OF THE PIC MOVING ON TO ANOTHER LOCALE: FIRST A GHOSTLY MILITARY BASE IN SOUTH KOREA THAT MIGHT BE THE SOURCE OF THE OUTBREAK; THEN TO ISRAEL, WHERE A SENIOR MOSSAD AGENT (WELL PLAYED BY DUTCH FILMMAKER LUDI BOEKEN) MAY HOLD SOME ADDITIONAL CLUES; AND FINALLY A WHO RESEARCH LAB IN WALES, WHERE — IN THE PIC’S MOST ELEGANTLY CRAFTED SETPIECE — GERRY AND A HANDFUL OF UNINFECTED SCIENTISTS ENTER INTO A CAREFUL CAT-AND-MOUSE GAME WITH THE OTHERWISE ZOMBIFIED STAFF.

    CONSIDERING THE INCOHERENT SHAMBLES HE MADE OUT OF HIS JAMES BOND MOVIE, “QUANTUM OF SOLACE,” FORSTER HANDLES THE LARGE-SCALE ACTION HERE WITH CONSIDERABLE APLOMB AND MUCH STRIKING IMAGERY, ENHANCED BY THE SEAMLESS MIX OF CHOREOGRAPHY, PROSTHETICS AND CG THAT BRING THE HERKING, JERKING ZOMBIES TO “LIFE.” THAT THESE ZOMBIES HAVE PARTICULARLY SENSITIVE HEARING ALLOWS FORSTER AND HIS SOUND DESIGNERS A FIELD DAY WITH CREAKING DOORS, BROKEN GLASS CRUNCHING UNDERFOOT, AND IN ONE ESPECIALLY TENSE MOMENT, A SODA CAN ROLLING ACROSS A CAFETERIA FLOOR. MOREOVER, THE DIRECTOR ALWAYS KEEPS THE MOVIE ROOTED IN A COMPELLING DRAMATIC SITUATION, WITH PITT GIVING A VERY APPEALING TURN AS THE SEEN-IT-ALL VETERAN OF THE WORLD’S WORST PLACES WHOSE DESIRE TO PROTECT HIS FAMILY TRUMPS HIS DESIRE TO SAVE THE WORLD. BY TODAY’S STANDARDS, HE’S A REFRESHINGLY HUMAN-SCALED MOVIE HERO, WITH NO OUTSIZED STRENGTH, AGILITY OR SUPERPOWERS TO HELP HIM WIN THE DAY.

    DESPITE HAVING LITTLE SCREEN TIME AND EVEN LESS DIALOGUE, THE MARVELOUS ENOS MANAGES TO SUGGEST A FULL RANGE OF WIFELY AND MOTHERLY EMOTIONS THROUGH THE SUBTLEST OF GLANCES AND SMILES THAT MASK HER PAIN. ISRAELI-BORN NEWCOMER DANIELLA KERTESZ ALSO MAKES A STRONG IMPRESSION AS THE SOLDIER WHO ACCOMPANIES GERRY ON THE LAST LEG OF HIS JOURNEY, INCLUDING A HARROWING JERUSALEM-CARDIFF FLIGHT WITH SOME MOST UNFRIENDLY PASSENGERS IN COACH.”

    Neither review, by any means, is a “self-fulfilling prophesy”. You simply have to see the movie for yourself, or at least wait on word-of-mouth to form a consensus.

    To quote NOSTELG-O in a recent thread: “To be perfectly honest though, I believe that there is plenty of disingenuousness on the side of the fans.”

    Give it some thought.

    • i will not be reading all of that sir/maam

      • @luther +1

    • Frederick, you’re exaggerating a bit if you say that Kofi’s Man of Steel review had “nothing negative got mentioned — finding no fault whatsoever.” He definitely raised criticisms ;) People were pretty split on that one – and Kofi fell on the side of really liking the movie. Simple as that.

      As for this film, that Variety review was certainly more positive but my review was hardly scathing. It was a 3/5 – which basically means that I’m recommending it to certain filmgoers but cannot make a sweeping across the board “must see” for everyone. There are some good things in the film worthy of recommending but there’s plenty that does not work as well as it could. We use the entire scale, so had I been slamming the movie, I’d have gone 1 or 2 out of 5.

      I’m not exactly sure what you meant by “after all that” and some of your other opening comments (or mentions of “bias”) but… I’d say judging by the individual Rotten Tomatoes scores – which include a lot of 3/5 and 3/4s – that this review is hardly an outlier (or the scathing Yin to Variety’s glowing Yang).

      Side note (I mean this with all due respect): Please refrain from posting an entire review from another site in the comments. Your comment was flagged as spam (because of the amount of text – coupled with the link to Variety). It’s fine if you want to link to it or share a particularly relevant excerpt but, I’m sure Variety would much rather have people visit their site for the review than have the entire thing copied and posted on another site (without even mentioning the review author, etc). I know that’s how I’d feel if my review was lifted from SR and pasted word for word in their comment section.

      • With no disrespect intended, let me make amends: Scott Foundas is the critic who wrote the film review of WORLD WAR Z for Variety.com and, of course, your admonishment is apropos. A link will be offered in the future. Passion at times precedes one’s better judgment, especially when in disagreement, but I will be mindful of such when expressing my opinion in the future.

        However, the positive comments for MAN OF STEEL and those negative for WORLD WAR Z came across as bias; that’s my opinion as outlined. Your reaction is appreciated, though I’m unpersuaded.

        If film critics had no knowledge of a movie’s pre-release trials and tribulations, not even privy to knowledge of the director, would their perception of the movie under review be somehow different? “After all that…” regarded your summary of WWZ with some suspicion, thus the basis for my passionate (if over-zealous) retort; this together with acolytes who narrowly embrace a singular point of view with little interest in collecting other opinions.

        The point of my thread: Critics do not always agree, and some fans will agree too quickly.

        • If that was the point of your thread, what your saying is your thread was pointless.

          Well done, professor.

          • What I enjoy perhaps most about the threads here on Screen Rant is the genuine involvement of those willing to make commentary; the more sincere and sustained the participation in analyzing (even offering to “solve” issues) the greater the release of everyone’s creativity and commitment in what they believe.

  13. I guess my girlfriend and I are the only ones who actually really really loved this and thought it was awesome that people finally weren’t stupid in the apocalypse. Plus I know you said the ending was lackluster but that’s the point. Brad Pitt had some tough choices and he dealt with them like a real human plus the third act had some of the most tense scenes I’ve seen in a while where I literally was on the edge of my seat. The zombies up close were terrifying! 4.5/5 stars for me and my girlfriend.

  14. It is not worth going to the theater to see. I don’t see how it cost 200+ million. Stay home and watch Dawn of the Dead or The Walking Dead again.

  15. wtf did they spend $150-$200 million on ? seriously, someone pocketed $125 million of that cash, cos it wasnt on the screen.

  16. Wasn’t really the movie the promos promised.
    Read more.. http://tandonz.blogspot.com/2013/06/world-war-z-2013.html

  17. NetFlix !

  18. Spoiler Alert!!!

    This film sucked big time.

    There were no real stakes.

    It should have been named Would Wat Zzzzzzzzzzzz!

  19. Sorry. Meant to say World War Zzzzzzzzzzzzz!

    Btw Warm Bodies was much much better.

    • Kinda funny none-the-less! (But doncha just hate it when you blow the punch-line? Been there myself a few times!).

  20. I agree with Ben’s review, i think for all the films been through to get made, and the addition of being very difficult book to translate into a film, i think it was good.

  21. Finding a cure for a virus that will bring an end to humanity is not a macguffin. Whatever is inside of Marcellus Wallace’s briefcase is a macguffin. For that matter, the briefcase in Ronin is a macguffin. The cure (though not found in the movie, making it POSSIBLY macguffinesque) is a defined, known, core plot device, making it very non-macguffinesque. MacGuffin, as defined by Hitchcock, is waaayyyyyy over used by movie reviewers.

    • Taylor –

      You are absolutely right about how the term was used by Hitchcock and I would even add the World War Z cure also doesn’t fit the Hitchcockian criteria of being mostly unimportant to the overall story. That said, the term has expanded its reach overtime to encompass a more generalized definition – i.e. an object or objective that a protagonist will stop at nothing to find or achieve.

      Hitchcock coined the term but he was describing a plot device that was already present in stories (not just films) prior to his time – mostly offering his opinion on that existing plot device. As a result, other filmmakers and writers have since provided their own takes on the subject – with less exclusive definitions that have refined (or you might argue muddled) use of the term.

      So, it’s not quite that cut-and-dry. But I do see your point.

    • Way to ruin the ending, dude.

  22. I agree, Taylor….

  23. The movie was good. I was entertained thru out. It’s worth going to see!

  24. It should not be called World War Z, no relevance to the book. I love the zombie genre in all respects. Four of us seen the movie last night (opening) and four thumbs down. The ending is horrible and Brad paid millions for this rewrite? I guess the DVD will have both endings. The “Walking Dead” is better written and it’s “free” on TV with realistic zombies/gore and follows the comics to some extent. If I was Max Brooks, I would be “furious” all the way to the Bank! This is another film Brad Pitt can add to his bombed movies list. I must admit, I did like “Meet Joe Black”. If you never read the book, this movie would be passable.

  25. It’s poo, total poo.

  26. Personally, I greatly enjoyed World War Z which features wonderfully nuanced acting by Brad Pitt which saves the entire flick. The fast moving, swarming zombies offer a new twist on the jerky peripatetic zombies we’ve become accustomed to. The assault on Israel’s walled city is epic and the CGI is really well done. While some movie cynics will decry the similarity to the swarming insects in Starship Troopers, the concept of Jewish and Arab religious zealots singing and chanting so loud that they cause the swarms to climb the walls, is ironic, disturbing and impressive.

    There are some unexpected weird plot twists, like the sudden death of the young vaccine scientist who is the hope of the world, who dies when he trips on the gangplank of a cargo plane and accidentally shoots and kills HIMSELF. This is a nicely hyped character poised to accompany Brad Pitt into glory, suddenly doing something clumsy and out of character, abruptly killing off what could have been a really interesting character.

    The weakest part of the movie is unnecessarily long meandering through the research lab, which at times is suspenseful, but slows the movie. The idea that Pitt’s character would randomly select a “cure” and take a chance on dying, from a group of a hundred vials, is a plot strain. The ending which could have shown much more detailed examples of how the zombies are infiltrated and destroyed, or lured to their destruction, would have capped the film, but instead the end of the zombies is handled quickly and sort of glossed over.

    All in all, this is a flawed but very interesting and thought provoking movie, with a pretty fast pace in the second half that will satisfy action lovers, and some cerebral issues that will provide some depth for analysis. This is a somewhat exaggerated example of what will happen if we are faced with a global pandemic – not where people turn into zombies, but rather, where infectious carriers spread a fatal disease, requiring massive quarantine.

  27. Just finished watching the movie this day and it was completely thrilling. Very exciting and exhilarating. It almost doesn’t give you time to breath. The film quickly places the main character in a whole lot of dangerous situations. If you want to be entertained and want to see something a bit different from usual zombie movies go see it. And if you have read the book, don’t watch the film with the nothing but rants about it being different from the source material in your mind. Try to enjoy it for what it is and try to judge it as its own movie not merely an adaptation. Do that and you just might find your self entertained and thrilled the whole time watching it. Go see it in the cinemas, its worth the money.

    -well if you still dont like it, so be it :P

  28. http://youtu.be/LyWfqPukGaA?t=1m29s <- get back to Your car right now, remain in Your veh…. ;]

  29. Don’t even bother complaining Fred. This site is good for some info, but forget the reviews. Avengers got a 4 out of 5 on here. The movie was mildly entertaining, but made almost no logical sense from beginning to end. Scenes of real deaths in a city being decimated by aliens were almost nothing. A Macguffin enemy was created to look evil, yet let the Avengers destroy them at will, so that no deaths or blood needed to be shown. I can list at least FIFTY over major plot holes in the movie, along with the indestructibility of several HUMAN avengers that should have been death ten times in the movie. Other movies, especially those giving the most money to advertising on this site, get similar treatment.
    Read the info, forget the reviews. Nothing is changing on here. WATCH THE ADS

    • Raymond, you’re commenting on the quality of our reviews based on our Avengers review that is over 1 year old? A movie that almost everyone loved and made 1.5 billion and sits at 92% on Rotten Tomatoes? Not to mention, that review was written by an entirely different person. We’re not a single-minded collective here.

      Reviewing is ultimately subjective, if you don’t agree with ours, no problem. I’m sure there are critics out there that you do agree with and fit your sensibilities – which is great. But that doesn’t mean that our reviews won’t be useful to other readers. Seems like this review is mostly in-line with most of the people commenting here – so, it’s a little puzzling to me that you’re using this one as a metric (coupled with the Avengers) to be so dismissive about the reviews on the site.

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