Saturday, June 29, 2013

Review: Brad Pitt is the Man in "World War Z"

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 46 (of 2013) by Leroy Douresseaux

World War Z (2013)
Running time: 116 minutes (1 hour, 56 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for language and some disturbing images
DIRECTOR: Marc Forster
WRITERS: Matthew Michael Carnahan and Drew Goddard & Damon Lindelof; from a screen story by Matthew Michael Carnahan and J. Michael Straczynski (based on the novel by Max Brooks)
PRODUCERS: Ian Bryce, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, and Brad Pitt
EDITORS: Matt Chesse and Roger Barton
COMPOSER: Marco Beltrami


Starring: Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, Daniella Kertesz, Fana Mokoena, James Badge Dale, Ludi Boeken, Matthew Fox, David Morse, Sterling Jerins, Abigail Hargrove, Fabrizio Zacharee Guido, Peter Capaldi, and Pierfrancesco Favino

Sometimes, I see movies that make me feel like a fanboy – so happy and satisfied to be entertained by my favorite movie stars and filmmakers. Recently, Brad Pitt’s new movie made me a Brad Pitt fanboy.

World War Z is a 2013 horror thriller and zombie movie from director Marc Forster. The film is based on the 2006 novel, World War Z, written by Max Brooks (the son of Mel Brooks). The film stars Brad Pitt as a United Nations employee who is trying to solve the mystery of a zombie pandemic that is threatening to destroy humanity.

World War Z opens in domestic harmony as former United Nations employee Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) prepares breakfast for his wife, Karin (Mireille Enos), and his daughters, Rachel (Abigail Hargrove) and Constance (Sterling Jerins). Later, the family is stuck in heavy traffic in Philadelphia that soon turns to mass bedlam. Crazed people are attacking and biting one another, and the ones who are bitten become like their attackers within ten seconds of being bitten.

Gerry and his family are rescued by a former UN colleague, Thierry Umutoni (Fana Mokoena), the UN Deputy Secretary-General. Gerry learns that a virus has turned into a worldwide outbreak that is turning people into ferocious, rabid zombies, and the ensuing chaos has toppled armies and governments. The outbreak is threatening to destroy humanity itself. Gerry is soon forced to travel the world in a race against time and hope to find a cure for this pandemic.

Plain and simple, World War Z is an action movie. Yes, it is an apocalyptic horror film, a horror thriller, a scary movie, and a zombie movie. However, it moves with the precision of a Jason Bourne movie and throws pitched-battles like a movie about military special operations (such as Tears of the Sun). It is fast-moving and jittery, even when Brad Pitt’s Gerry Lane is being thoughtful and observant. And it is the good movie kind of fast-moving and jittery.

Director Marc Forster orchestrates this Hollywood entertainment product so that it transforms mere spectacle into the spectacular. As far as I’m concerned, this is his most passionate and emotionally-charged film since 2001’s Monster’s Ball, for which Halle Berry won an Oscar.

World War Z is also a Brad Pitt movie, and because Brad is a true movie star and a truly fine actor, he carries the audience with his character Gerry Lane. He carries us on a pulse-pounding thrill ride that makes us (at least, some of us) forget some of the holes in the concept. Our cinematic faith in our movie stars is rewarded when they deliver the goods. In World War Z, Pitt delivers some kind of good.

8 of 10

Saturday, June 29, 2013

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