World War Z

Marc Forster (Quantum of Solace, Monster's Ball) directs Brad Pitt in the curious zombie plague film World War Z, in which Pitt plays a former United Nation's investigator, Gerry Lane, who is drafted by  a desperate U.N. undersecretary (Fana Mokoena) to find the source of a global infection that is turning the world's population into the raging, ravenous undead. Little time is spent on back story (no reason is given for the outbreak), and the little we know about Pitt and his devotion to his wife (Mierielle Enos) and two daughters (Sterling Jerins and Abigail Hargrove) is relayed in the first five minutes of the film. It's this devotion that leads him to sign onto what appears to be a suicide mission because the zombies swarm like ants and the gestation period for "turning" after being bitten is about 12 seconds. Lane leaves his family in the care of the U.N. on a battle ship that has been re-purposed as a refuge for unbitten essential  personnel and heads to Korea then Israel chasing leads. Each stop introduces new perils, and Forster stages several mesmerizing scenes that are much tamer than the standard zombie attack fare on The Walking Dead or any other recent zombie flick. For me, the film's most horrifying visual elements are the scenes of the armies of the undead clawing and crawling over one another to get to fresh flesh. Unfortunately, the movie's solemn and polemical final reel was strangely pessimistic and generally disappointing. Recommended for fans of the genre and though not overly bloody or graphic it's way too intense for young children.


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