Sunday, 23 June 2013

#51 WORLD WAR Z (21.6.13)

Directed by Marc Forster. With Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, Daniella Kertesz, James Badge Dale.

116 minutes. 

Oh no, it's the apocalypse! The world's ending, it's zombies, a tsunami of them, swamping the world! Oh who can save us? Luckily it's Brad Pitt, sporting a fancy beard and foppish hair, he's a UN Johnny press-ganged back to save us all!

What follows is a whistle stop tour of the world's most exotic and dramatic locations,
Gyeonggi-do in South Korea,  Jerusalem, and er, Cardiff as Brad tracks the tidal wave of living dead back to their  source -Patient Z so to speak.

Based on a hugely popular book which means that the film was doomed to fail before a single second of footage had been shot, the film makers dropped the reportage structure of the novel and it's lack of a single heroic voice by creating one then sending him out to travel the world and save it. Because Brad Pitt is too big now, not to save the world.

It's a tense and dramatic movie which has some superb set pieces, particularly the escape from New York and Jerusalem, but which also features the world's most luckless hero who stumbles from one disaster to the next and seems to be a real harbinger of doom, wherever he goes death and the undead are sure to follow, very, very quickly on his heels. 

Forster, like far too many directors still believes that shaking the camera violently during action scenes will make them very exciting and draw the viewer in. He's wrong, and here not only does it not work, it also makes many of the action scenes unwatchable, particularly those that take place at night. There's one scene in particular which was so confusing that I literally had no idea what any of the shadowy figures were doing, or to whom, or even who they might be and so when it ended with Brad running to the edge of a building and almost jumping off I had no idea why.

This film starts dramatically, expanding rapidly like a balloon, to bursting point then it sort of slowly deflates gently until it ends with a soft wet fffftttppp. But I suppose after such a tense and dramatic opening there's nowhere else for it to go. 


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